After a series of flood warnings across the country and more on the way, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is urging people not to put their lives at risk.

The Met Office is predicting Britain could continue to face spells of heavy rain and winds into December and the drowning prevention charity wants people to make sure they are prepared.

There have already been numerous reports of flooding following heavy downpours last week, with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in Wales particularly badly hit.

The Environment Agency has also issued flood alerts for south-east England.

And forecasters have warned that flooding is looking increasingly likely across southwest England and south Wales this week.

RLSS UK says it is vital that people don’t underestimate the dangers of floodwater.

More than 12 per cent of the UK population live in areas at risk of flooding from rivers or sea and, tragically, drownings take place each year as a result of bad weather.

Just six inches of fast flowing water is enough to knock an adult over and two feet of water will float a car, the charity points out.

RLSS UK’s chief executive, Di Steer, said: “We have already seen flood warnings and reports of flooding in different parts of the country.

“And with more heavy rain predicted we are asking people to make sure they are prepared and that they take care during very wet weather.

“These conditions can be dangerous and create a significant risk of drowning if safety advice is not followed.”

The charity warns care should be taken not just around swollen rivers but near general floodwater on roads and pathways too.

“It is often tempting to take a look at rivers at their peak but it can be dangerous,” Di Steer added.

“But it’s not just these areas of water which can cause problems. Floodwater on roads and paths can be deeper and more powerful than it looks and people can easily fall or be knocked over.

“We would ask people to follow our simple advice to help ensure they and their families stay safe.”

RLSS UK’s Advice:
  • Never try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can
  • knock an adult over and two feet of water will float a car
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water or flood water – you may get swept
  • away or be struck or caught up in an object in the water
  • Never allow children or pets to go near or play in flood water. It is hazardous and
  • may be contaminated with chemicals
  • Keep an eye on weather reports for flooding in your area. Do not travel in heavy
  • rainstorms unless absolutely necessary
  • Prepare a flood kit in case your home floods or you are trapped in a vehicle for anyperiod– this can contain a change of clothing, wellies, waterproofs and blankets as well as a torch, charged mobile, radio, medication and a first aid kit and a list of useful numbers, including flood alert lines 
Should your car enter floodwater:
  • Call for help, remove seatbelt and release any children from their seats
  • Turn on all the lights and sound the horn to attract attention (only if this won’t delay your escape)
  • If the water level is low – open the windows and stay in the car
  • If the water level is high – escape out of the windows, sunroof or doors onto the roof of the car. Stay with the car. If the car starts to move quickly with the water flow, get off the car, stay upstream from the car, and swim vigorously to safety
  • If the water is entering the car – escape out of the windows, sunroof or doors (breaking windows if necessary). Stay upstream from the car, and swim vigorously to safety
  • If you cannot escape, call and signal for help. Turn on all of the lights and sound the horn