The inaugural meeting of the new All Party Parliamentary Group for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention took place on this week (Wednesday) at Westminster.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity, was integral in setting up the group and provides the Secretariat who are working with MPs to help prevent unnecessary death by drowning and help keep people safe around water.

RLSS UK is working with MPs to ensure every child in the UK receives water safety education through the national curriculum.

Latest figures show that 381 people in the died from drowning in the UK last year and many, many more suffered injury as a result of a near drowning incident. Drowning can be prevented by teaching people personal survival, basic water rescue skills and water safety education.

Di Steer, chief executive for RLSS UK, said: “This is an important step forward for RLSS UK in getting MPs’ support in helping to stop the unnecessary loss of life to drowning.

“One person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and together with the All Parliamentary Group, we will continue our working in reducing the number of people who drown each year. We would like to thanks each and every MP who is part of the group and aware of the lifesaving importance of water safety education.”

Items on the meeting’s agenda Water Safety Education in Schools, Defibrillators in Schools

Public Service Announcements and the World Health Organization: Global Report on Drowning.

Chair of the APPG for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention and Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi added: “It’s great to see so many Parliamentarians engaging with this subject. The basic safety and rescue skills taught by the RLSS UK can make the difference between life and death so it’s vital that we keep drowning prevention high up on Westminster’s agenda.”

Representatives from The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) made its first trip to Parliament in June this year when 41 of them signed up and ‘pledge to support the delivery of water safety education to all under 18- year- olds in the UK’.

A date for the next meeting of the APPG for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention will be set in due course.