The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has today issued a warning ahead of the heatwave expected to hit parts of England over the weekend.

The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency have issued an alert which will be in place from 9am on Friday 9 June to 9am Monday 12 June. This comes as the UK has seen temperatures rise over the past few weeks and now with a heatwave expected, the UK will record its hottest day of 2023 so far this weekend.

After a number of recent drownings RLSS UK, the charity which shares its expertise in water safety, lifesaving and lifeguarding to educate everyone to enjoy water safely, wants to encourage everyone to take care whilst in or near the water this weekend.

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said “Devastatingly over the recent weeks we have seen a number of people, including many children, lose their lives when in or near the water. There is evidence that there is a link between warmer weather and increased number of accidental drownings, and we want to ensure that everyone is equipped with the vital knowledge to allow them to safely enjoy being in or around the water.

“Each year we see a spike in accidental drownings occur in June, July and August when we typically see the warmer weather hit the UK. In 2022 46% of the 226 accidental drownings took place within those three summer months; we understand the reason people head to the various waterways in the UK when we experience warmer weather, however, we want to ensure people would know what to do if they found themselves in difficulty or if they saw someone else in difficulty in the water.

“RLSS UK encourages families to speak with their children about water safety and to learn the Water Safety Code: Stop and think: look out for any dangers and read any signs and advice; Stay together: swim at a lifeguarded venue and always go with friends or family; in an emergency Call 999: ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when inland and the Coastguard if at the coast and never enter the water to rescue anyone or anything; Float: if you fall in, stay calm and float on your back, or if you spot someone in trouble tell them to float and try to throw them something that floats.

“We want to avoid any further tragedies and any more families going through the heartache of losing a loved one. With the right education, accidental drownings are avoidable. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable weekend.”

Six regions are included in the yellow alert including London; East Midlands; West Midlands; East of England; South East; and South West.

RLSS UK has a number of free resources available:

Free Water Safety Resources

The charity will also be running its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign this month (17 – 24 June) in a bid to educate even more children and families on how they can safely enjoy being in, on or around the water.

Learn More about Drowning Prevention Week