Fire service video warning younger people about the dangers of drinking and entering open water
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a new water safety video which raises awareness for young people aged between 15 and 24 ahead of Drowning Prevention Week (Saturday, June 19 to Saturday, June 26).
The video, which was made in conjunction with Middlesbrough College and Sira Studio, aims to warn younger people of the dangers of drinking and entering open water such as lakes or rivers.
Recently released statistics from the Water Incident Database show that in 2020 there were 631 water related fatalities and 69 of these included the presence of alcohol.
Tony Peel, station manager for prevention from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We know that after a few drinks it’s easy to show bravado and not think about the consequences of your actions.
“Alcohol can impair your ability to swim even if you’re a strong swim so we’d ask that if you want to drink that you avoid open water, and if you’re drinking with your friends don’t encourage them to go for a swim.”
The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) is also highlighting dangers around the region’s waterways and coast.
An RLSS spokesman said: “Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety.
“Swimming isn’t just a critical lifesaving skill, it’s a skill that opens up a lifetime of fun and adventure in and on the water and throughout 2020 and 2021, cohorts of young people have missed out on the opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.
“The UK’s beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level.”
People can watch the video on YouTube at youtu.be/6WaECOTSt4s.
Go to www.rlss.org.uk/Event/drowning-prevention-week-19-26-june-2021 to find out more about Drowning Prevention Week.