Men are being urged to share water survival skills with friends that could save their lives as it was revealed that ten times more men die on the UK coast than women.
The RNLI says of the 109 people who died, 91 per cent of them were men. That, says the charity is down to men’s love of watersports.
As a result of the statistics, this month the charity’s Respect the Water campaign is encouraging young men to share two survival skills – if you see someone struggling in the water at the coast, call 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard and don’t go in after them or you may get into trouble yourself and if you are in trouble in cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard or thrash about, as this could lead to breathing in water and drowning, instead, relax and float on your back until you have regained control of your breathing.
Ross Macleod, RNLI Respect the Water Manager, said August is a notoriously busy month on the coast, which draws groups of friends to beaches to relax and let off steam during the holidays.
But sadly, he said, this also means more young men getting into difficulty in the water or tragically losing their lives.
“Our research shows 70 per cent of young men aged 16-35 admit to having been in a dangerous or scary situation alongside their male friends, with 35 per cent of those revealing potentially dangerous water was a factor. So we’re calling on guys to be aware of the risks at the coast, and to look out for their mates by remembering and sharing key survival skills.
“Stereotyping would say men don’t talk openly with their mates, but our survey suggests nearly all men share advice with their friends. With less than half revealing they offer advice about safety issues, we believe it’s important to urge more men to chat to their mates about what to do in a dangerous situation at the coast, to save more lives. A simple conversation may be all it takes to truly look out for your mates.”
Over the past five years, 98 people have died at the UK coast during the month of August, making it one of the deadliest months for coastal fatalities, joint only with July.
Visit RespectTheWater.com and see the RNLI’s key steps to floating, designed to help give people the confidence to be able to float if they find themselves in trouble in cold water.
Anyone planning a trip to the beach is advised by the RNLI to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards.