Home Rescue Articles Firefighters Warn of Water Safety as Weather Warms

Firefighters Warn of Water Safety as Weather Warms

by IvyFPS
Firefighters issue water safety warning ahead of warmer weather

Firefighters Issue Water Safety Warning Ahead of Warmer Weather

  • Greater Manchester firefighters urge residents to stay safe around open water as warmer weather forecast
  • The number of people in the UK who accidentally drowned rose in 2023, and in the previous year more people died in Greater Manchester’s waterways than in fires
  • GMFRS launches water safety campaign and shares key messages, including Float to Live and Call, Tell, Throw
  • Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging residents to stay safe around open water during the summer months, as new figures reveal the number of people who accidentally drowned in the UK last year.

With warmer weather forecast and the school holidays approaching, GMFRS is once again emphasising the dangers of swimming and jumping into open water.

Figures released at the end of May show that 236 people in the UK accidentally drowned in 2023, an increase of 10 people compared to 2022.

Firefighters Warn of Water Safety as Weather Warms

Across Greater Manchester in the period from 2021 to 22, more people drowned in our waterways than died in fires.

As part of an annual water safety campaign, fire crews have been out and about in local communities giving safety advice on the hidden dangers of open water, and what to do should anyone ever find someone, or themselves, in difficulty in water.

Throughout summer, GMFRS will be sharing key safety advice and guidance, including:

  • Float to Live: Tilt your head back with ears submerged; relax and try to breathe normally; move your hands to help you stay afloat; it’s OK if your legs sink, we all float differently; and spread your arms and legs to improve stability.
  • Call, Tell, Throw: If you see someone in difficulty in water, call 999 and ask for the fire service (or the coastguard if at sea), tell the struggling person to float on their back and throw them something that floats. Do not go in the water yourself.
  • Jumping in water can prove fatal: Water is often a lot shallower than it appears, and hidden hazards lurk below the surface.
  • Even in hot weather the water is a lot colder: Jumping in can lead to cold water shock which can be fatal, even if you’re a strong swimmer.

Area Manager Billy Fenwick, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said:

“We want to educate people on the dangers of open water. Cold water shock can kill even strong swimmers, and people can become caught up in underwater hazards and drown. It is not worth dying for a dip.

“Should anyone find themselves in trouble in the water please remember: ‘Float to Live’. It could just save your life. If you see someone in difficulty in the water you should call 999 and ask for fire, tell them to float and throw them a float aid if there is one nearby.

“We would also encourage teachers, parents and carers to support our messaging with further information available on our website and the StayWise safety education website.”

As part of the summer water campaign, videos will be shared from family and friends of young people who have sadly lost their lives to drowning. They speak emotionally of the impact such tragic events have had on them.

The city-region’s annual Safe4Summer partnership campaign runs alongside GMFRS’s water safety campaign in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 local authorities that make up Greater Manchester. Water safety messages are reinforced through this campaign over the summer months.

Visit the GMFRS website for more information on water safety and the campaign: https://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/

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