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Be water aware urges fire service

April 30 2019

This week marks Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Week and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging the public to ‘Be Water Aware’.

We know the weather is expected to get warmer in the coming weeks and the temptations to swim in open water may be high but please avoid this. We advise you only swim at properly supervised pools.

Director of Prevent and Protect, Glynn Luznyj

The national week starts today, Monday, April 29, and aims to highlight the dangers of open water and the hidden hazards beneath the surface.

The plea comes just after crews from Lichfield, Rugeley and Tamworth attended a water rescue incident in Handsacre at 1.23pm on Saturday, April 27. They were called to reports that a male was seen unconscious in the water. Firefighters entered the water to retrieve the casualty who turned out to be a teenager. He was rescued and treated by the ambulance service who took him to hospital.

Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj said: “We believe in this case that alcohol was involved which is often the case for water rescue incidents. It is incredibly dangerous to go near any open water when you are intoxicated which is why we advise people to avoid walking home near water and always grab a taxi if possible. Alcohol affects yours balance and awareness making it incredibly easy for people to fall into the water and incredibly difficult to get out again. 

“Fortunately this teenager is believed to be doing well but this incident could have had extremely tragic results. The prevent Team are continuing to work and support him for the foreseeable future.

“We know the weather is expected to get warmer in the coming weeks and the temptations to swim in open water may be high but please avoid this. We advise you only swim at properly supervised pools. 

“Please follow our tips to stay safe and avoid disasters in the water. Last year’s tragedy which saw Ryan Evans lose his life shook the community and we want to avoid this every happening again.” 

Follow these safety tips to stay safe by water: 

Having a Drink:

  • Stay with a group of people
  • Avoid walking near open water
  • Get a taxi home
  • Never swim when intoxicated.

Tempted to swim: 

  • Only swim in properly supervised pools
  • Never swim in open bodies of water
  • It is difficult to tell how deep water is
  • There are hidden/unseen hazards under the surface. It is easy to get tangled in rubbish, debris and plant life under the water
  • The temperature of the water can often be colder than expected and can lead to cold water shock