Respect the Water

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are pleased to support the Respect the Water Campaign launched by The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

The RNLI has announced seven people claimed ‘floating’ helped save their life in 2017, after the charity advocated this as a key survival skill last summer.

  • Coastal fatality figures released today show 109 people lost their lives at the UK coast in 2017 (156 in 2016)
  • Over half (55%) did not intend to enter the water
  • 91% of the fatalities were men – a record high proportion

As the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign Respect the Water enters its fifth year, the charity is urging anyone who finds themselves in trouble in cold water to stay calm and ‘float’.

Ross Macleod, RNLI spokesperson says:

‘Losing someone to drowning is a shattering experience, so I am very pleased several people said the RNLI’s Respect the Water ‘float’ advice helped them survive in a dangerous situation in the water last year.

“I’m also encouraged by the 2017 coastal fatality figure as it is lower than in previous years. We are hopeful that our safety campaigning and education work has contributed to a reduction in coastal deaths, but we cannot get complacent. It’s vital we all keep sharing lifesaving advice to ensure last year’s reduction becomes part of a long term downward trend in coastal fatalities. One drowning, is one too many.

‘A particularly worrying statistic is that male deaths make up 91% of the fatalities, with many of them ending up in the water unexpectedly. It clearly highlights much more must be done to help men keep themselves safe around the coast.’

This year the charity is calling on the public to practice the ‘float’ survival skill – a simple skill that could mean the difference between life and death – and to share this lifesaving knowledge with others.

For those planning to go into the water, the best way to enjoy it safely is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags – the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards. And if you see someone else in danger in the water at the coast, fight your instinct to go in and try to rescue them yourself, instead call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The RNLI is asking people to visit where they will find information on floating.

On social media search #RespectTheWater #FloatToLive.