As part of its Safer Summer campaign, firefighters are reminding people not to put themselves at risk around water, especially teenagers and young men.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign.
This is a UK wide campaign that launched on Thursday July 9 aimed at halving the number of coastal related water deaths by 2024.
According to figures produced by the RNLI, over 160 people die each year at the UK coast and around half of those didn’t even set out to enter the water.
Men account for over two-thirds of coastal deaths.
Cold water shock is a particular concern at this time of year, as the temperature of the air may be significantly higher than that of the water.
People also need to be aware of the hidden dangers below the surface.
Director of Prevention and Protection at ESFRS, Andy Reynolds said, “East Sussex and Brighton and Hove have some lovely stretches of coast which thousands of people enjoy every year.
“We also have lots of areas of water inland including Arlington Reservoir, the River Uck and Bewl Water.
“With the warmer weather now here, we want to remind both residents and visitors to take care when they are out and about particularly when in or near the water.
“The risk of drowning particularly amongst teenagers and young men is high.
“On a sunny day the water may look like an inviting way to cool down however there are dangers to be considered.
“Drowning is preventable and carelessness in and around the water can cause injury or even death.
“ Remember – you, your friends and family are irreplaceable so don’t take risks.”
ESFRS offers the following advice:
• Never swim in open water alone
• Always swim near a lifeguard
• Know the potential hazards in the area you are planning to visit – you don’t know what may lie beneath the water’s surface
• Cold water can cause injury and even death even amongst strong swimmers
• Never swim after consuming alcohol
• Water can be unpredictable – there are tides and undercurrents that can drag you out to sea in seconds
Remember - If you spot someone in trouble dial 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard
•Find out more about the Safer Summer Campaign at http://www.esfrs.org/your- safety/safer-summer/
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