The families of two teenage boys who both tragically drowned, have spoken out to back the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK) national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week.

The Drowning Prevention Charity’s campaign this year runs from June 18 to 26 and aims to cut down the hundreds of deaths caused by accidental drownings and near drowning accidents across the UK each year by promoting water safety.

The families of Cameron Gosling and Cameron Lancaster are both showing their support for Drowning Prevention Week and the charity.

Fourteen to 18-year-olds are the group most at risk of drowning and figures show that around 90 per cent of all 14 to 18-year-old drowning victims are male.*

Cameron Lancaster tragically lost his life at the age of 18, after jumping into the disused Preston Hill Quarry in Inverkeithing, Fife, in August 2014.

His sister Ana, 15, spoke out for the first time since losing her brother and said: “I think that it’s incredibly important that Drowning Prevention Week is supported as widely as possible, as there needs to be more awareness of water safety and the dangers of large inland bodies of water, where many people have already lost their lives.

“My family and I are supporting the campaign by presenting talks in high schools around Scotland – where we can target my own age group of 14 to 18-year-olds.

“This age group really hits me hard as it’s also when people begin to really grow into their potential, and to cast all of that potential away due perhaps to ignorance is just unthinkable.

“I really hope that teens across the country hear this campaign and take it into account, as it may not only spare a life, but also the hurt that ripples throughout the communities when accidents like these do happen.”

Cameron’s mother, Gillian Barclay, added: “It is really important to take note of RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week messages, messages that can mean the difference between life and death.

“We would ask people to support the campaign to ensure they and their families stay safe. Let’s avoid any more tragedies wherever possible.”

Cameron Gosling from Crook, County Durham was just 14-years-old when he drowned whilst swimming in the River Wear, Witton Park, Durham, with friends on 5 July last year (2015) after he jumped from a rock into the river.

His mother, Fiona said: “My phone went and it was a text saying Cameron had jumped into the river – he hasn’t come back up and we can’t find him. Then, when I saw someone walking up the drive later that night I knew they had found him.

“Cameron was a popular, fun and caring teenager whose life ended too soon.

“I have been working with RLSS UK to give children and teenagers the education and knowledge not to expose themselves to dangers when playing near rivers and lakes.

“I want to prevent any more people losing their lives to drowning and to stop any more families having to go through the pain and loss we have been and are still going through.”

Eighty per cent of all summer drowning victims are male*, and it is hoped that targeting this high risk group will drive vital water safety messages home to thrill-seeking young people before the school summer holidays.

To help target this group RLSS UK has created new, hard-hitting education resources including an interactive presentation for secondary schools. The presentation ‘Drowning – It’s up to you’ focuses on teenagers’ choices and how the decisions they make can have disastrous effects. The presentation is also accompanied by additional resources including school lessons, assembly briefings, games and activities.

RLSS UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Di Steer said: “Around 400 people needlessly die from drowning each year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near drowning experiences. Putting these figures into context one person dies from drowning in the UK every 20 hours and over a third of all drownings occur over the summer months.

“We all know that water can be fun and a way to cool off in the summer, however it is important that children know how to stay safe. Every year we tragically see an increase in the amount of drownings over the summer period and we want to stop this.

“We hope during this year’s campaign we reach this key age-group, most at risk of drowning, as well as continuing to target younger children before they reach the age they will be most vulnerable.”

Each year, Drowning Prevention Week drives home water safety messages throughout a targeted week of activities, demonstrating how to stay safe and have fun near water. It also serves to raise money for the RLSS UK’s drowning prevention work.

Last year, thousands of primary schools, leisure centres and community groups delivered water safety lessons or events and this year the campaign aims to reach over 180,000 people with water safety educational resources.


For more information on RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, download free resources and get safety advice –

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