Royal Life Saving Society urges people not to take risks and be aware of lifesaving techniques.

The UK’s leading drowning prevention charity has re-issued a warning for people to stay safe and know what to do in an emergency as more and more areas are affected by severe flooding.

And, with further rain and storms forecast and 366 Environment Agency flood warnings in place, The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is reminding those affected of safety advice.

RLSS UK Director of Lifesaving, Adrian Lole, said: “We issued flood safety advice at the beginning of the storms and have continued to urge people to keep them and their families safe, not take unnecessary risks and never underestimate the power of floodwater.

“Thankfully most people have remained safe despite the terrible experiences they are having but there are those that have taken risks and needed rescue crews to bring them to safety and, tragically a number of people have lost their lives.

“We also continue to ask that people do not feel tempted to go ‘sightseeing’ and view extreme conditions on flooded land or sea fronts and to never take risks driving through floodwater.”

Adrian added the RLSS UK is calling on everyone to be proactive and to learn about water safety to protect themselves and their loved-ones.

Every year around 400 people lose their lives through accidental drowning – inland water accounting for 63 per cent of these deaths – but by remembering and following some quick and easy advice, people can help prevent themselves becoming one of the statistics.

RLSS UK’s quick advice tips for staying safe during times of flooding:

  • Never try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock an adult over, two feet of water will float a car and unknown obstacles and drains and manholes can pose a danger
  • 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 any period – 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
  • Download our flood warning leaflet