A senior firefighter in Cumbria has warned the public to be aware of the dangers of water as lockdown restrictions easing joins with warmer temperatures.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign, which aims to raise awareness of water-related incidents and prevent the number of drowning accidents.
With the Easter school holidays and the potential easing of COVID-19 restrictions pending, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is asking the people in the county to stay safe in our beautiful lakes and rivers this spring.
Half of accidental drownings in the UK occur when people didn’t intend to go in the water, so simple steps to raise awareness of the risks around water and how they can be reduced will help prevent these deaths.
The three main types of water-related accidents Cumbria FRS attend are:
- Rescue of people who didn’t intend to go in the water
- Rescue of people who were in the water intentionally and get into difficulty
- Rescue of people who intentionally enter the water with the intent to harm themselves
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s area manager and head of community safety, Craig Drinkald, said: “We want people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely.
“Most people would be shocked to hear that 263 people across the UK lost their lives last year while spending time near water. This is because they were unaware of the risks and unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water.
“In Cumbria, we carried out more than 200 water rescues between 2015 and 2020, which sadly included eight fatalities. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach our communities, we hope to reduce the number of these preventable deaths.
“Temperatures in Cumbria have started to rise slightly, but that does not mean all of our nearby waters are safe to be entered.”
Cumbria Constabulary’s T/Chief Superintendent, Rob O’Connor added: “It may be tempting to visit our lakes and beauty spots as the weather improves, however, we would advise people not to enter the water.
“Although the water may look calm and pleasant, there can be hazards that aren’t visible underneath the surface of the water, which will also still be cold at this time of year.”
- Barrow – 14 degrees
- Carlisle – 13 degrees
- Kendal – 15 degrees
- Keswick – 14 degrees
- Penrith – 15 degrees
- Workington – 11 degrees
Send us photos of you enjoying yourselves in the sun, but please remember social distancing restrictions.
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