Published 17 June 2015

A record number of organisations will teach people how to be safe in and around water as part of the UK’s biggest drowning prevention campaign next week.

Drowning Prevention Week, the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK, aims to reduce the number of accidental drownings that occur in the UK each year. The latest figures, issued by the National Water Safety Forum earlier this month, show that 338 people lost their lives to drowning in 2014 – many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Running from 20 to 28 June 2015, leisure centres, schools, clubs and local communities will be hosting a range of events and activities to show people how they can have fun and stay safe around water. RLSS UK supplies a host of resources to support operators involved in the campaign, from leaflets and posters to help market Drowning Prevention Week to plans for pool sessions and wetside activities.

Leeds City Council, winner of the Multi-Site Approved Training Centre of the Year (2-15 sites) at last week’s Royal Life Saving Society UK and IQL UK National Awards 2015, delivered the drowning prevention message to more than 8,000 children in one week during last year’s campaign.

As well as helping to reduce the number of accidental drownings in the UK, the campaign provides a valuable opportunity for leisure operators to reach new audiences and cross sell other programmes and activities.

To mark the launch of this year’s campaign, RLSS UK has launched a hard-hitting film which features people from across the UK who have lost someone to drowning and share their tragic experiences. To watch and share ‘Beneath the Surface – the Families’ Stories’ visit the RLSS UK YouTube channel

Former Olympic swimmer, and RLSS UK Ambassador, Mark Foster urged organisations to get involved with the campaign. “The second most important thing after learning to swim, is to make sure you know what to do if someone gets into difficulties in the water, and that’s why I am delighted to be the RLSS UK ambassador to encourage everyone to participate in Drowning Prevention Week.”