21/06/2024

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and local Fire and Rescue Service welcomed schoolchildren for drowning prevention awareness event

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and local Fire and Rescue Service welcomed schoolchildren for drowning prevention awareness event. 

RLSS UK and the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWRFS) hosted rescue demonstrations along the River Severn in Worcester, where experts identified the key dangers of water and offered the public safety advice.  

The two sessions also saw local youngsters from Pitmaston Primary School get involved, with RLSS UK team members highlighting the importance of water safety education through interactive elements of the session. With experts from the HWRFS on hand, the children enjoyed live demonstrations of throwing lines and rope bags, as well as putting their floating skills to the test on dry land. 

The event formed part of RLSS UK’s national, annual Drowning Prevention Week. Aimed at young children and families, Drowning Prevention Week ensures as many people as possible are equipped with vital lifesaving knowledge that will keep them and their families safe in, on and around water. 

Data1 shows the number of child drowning deaths in England has significantly increased from 20 in 2019-20, to 41 in 2022-23. 

With the UK continuing to see tragic drownings each year, RLSS UK is urging local residents to take part in the campaign and help to raise awareness and understanding of the Water Safety Code, ensuring they have the tools to stay safe and avoid any accidents in and around water this summer. 

Matt Croxall, Charity Director at RLSS UK said: “The rescue demonstration event with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was the perfect addition to our Drowning Prevention Week campaign and was a great success all round! 

“The youngsters from Pitmaston Primary School enjoyed an informative session led by firefighters on how to stay safe when near water. They also learnt about the Water Safety Code from RLSS UK volunteers as well as putting lifesaving skills into action – which could make all the difference one day.   

“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service for helping to educate more children and families on the all-important matter of water safety as part of our Drowning Prevention Week campaign – and we hope the event helped raise vital awareness among the Worcester community and beyond.” 

John Elsworth, Station Commander at HWFRS, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer our support and provide our services for such an important cause for the RLSS UK. 

“Drowning Prevention Week is an important awareness campaign, and with lives tragically continuing to be lost each year due to accidental drownings, it means we must continue to push water safety education among the public – and we were pleased to help reach more children and parents in Worcester through the sessions.” 

Kate Wilcock, Headteacher at Pitmaston Primary School, said: “The children enjoyed a fantastic and well guided informative session with Fire and Rescue Service team members on hand to answer any questions. It was positive to see the children engage positively and come away with essential water safety advice that could help them to have the skills to potentially save a life. 

“A big thank you to the RLSS UK for inviting us to be a part of this important event and campaign – we hope to make waves in future awareness initiatives!” 

For Drowning Prevention Week, RLSS UK has a range of free educational resources available on its website for children, including lesson plans for schools and downloadable resources for parents, as well as an animation to engage families in learning the Water Safety Code. 

This summer, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is reminding those spending time near water in the UK to stay vigilant and follow the Water Safety Code: 

Stop and think 
Stay together  
If in danger, call 999 or 111  
FLOAT 
More information around Drowning Prevention Week

[1] Source: National Child Mortality Database (NCMD)