Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) warns that continued hot weather increases risk of more drownings. 

As the ‘Spanish plume’ is predicted to bring hot weather across the UK next week, the UK’s drowning prevention charity has issued an urgent warning that, as the temperatures rise, so might the drowning death toll.

The charity has appealed for people to take note of simple safety messages to avoid any more drowning tragedies this summer.

Figures show that on average each year the summer months witness the most drowning deaths with eighty per cent of all drownings victims being male*.

Reports so far this summer show that 20 people have lost their lives since the start of June – that’s the equivalent of two a week**.

And the tragic pattern is continuing as only earlier this week the search for teenagers, Waseem Muflahi and Yahya Mohammed was called off for the boys who went missing while swimming off the Welsh coast.

RLSS UK’s Deputy Director of Education and Research, Mike Dunn said: “This summer has seen a lot of tragic drownings already and we urge people to listen to our safety advice to prevent any more people losing their lives.

“It may seem an inviting way to cool off – but there are deadly dangers such as extremely cold temperatures, unpredictable currents, uneven depths and unknown debris or object people can get injured on or caught in.

“We want people to enjoy the water and make the most of the weather, but safely, whether at home here in the UK or on holiday abroad. Please stay safe and don’t let yourself or a loved one become a tragic statistic this summer.”

The last few years have seen a tragic amount of preventable deaths as people flocked to open water sites not suitable for swimming. These sites included rivers, quarries, lakes and reservoirs.

Mike added: “Being aware of the basic principles of open water safety, combined with knowledge and understanding of the hazards, can increase enjoyment and significantly reduce the number deaths each year.

“Any drowning is a tragedy but the number of people who lose their lives each summer is not only extremely sad but extremely worrying.”


Follow the below advice and take note of the dangers to avoid becoming one of the statistics–


Swim at unsupervised (un-lifeguarded sites) including lakes, quarries reservoirs and rivers
Jump into the water until you have acclimatised to the water temperature
Jump into the water from heights or ‘tombstone’
Swim into deep water which will be colder


Swim at supervised (lifeguarded) sites
Swim parallel with the shore, where you can quickly get to safety
Swim with friends or family, so that you can help each other if you need to
Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming
Think about what you will do if something goes wrong
Contact a reputable outdoor pursuits or coasteering centre if you want to take part in more extreme activities

Dangers of open water include–

The height of the fall or jump if tombstoning
The depth of the water – this changes and is unpredictable
Submerged objects may not be visible
Obstacles or other people in the water
Lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue
The shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water
Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
Uneven banks and river beds
Water quality eg toxic algal blooms and industrial/agricultural pollution

All of these hazards can be controlled through proper organisation and planning.

If someone is in difficulty in the water –

Shout reassurance to them and shout for help and ensure the emergency services are on their way (call 999 or 112)
Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them, extend your reach with a stick, pole, item of clothing, lie down or stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy, part filled plastic container, ball or
Keep your eye on them all the time and shout reassurance urging them to propel themselves to safety

Watch RLSS UK’s water safety film on how to stay safe around water:


For more information on RLSS UK, water safety or details on lifesaving courses suitable for children and adults-

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Call – 0300 323 0096