Drowning Prevention Week
The 18th- 25th June 2022 marks #DrowningPreventionWeek so we have put together some top tips to help you stay safe around our waterbodies this summer:
- Stay out of the water and avoid playing close to the water’s edge.
- If you do find yourself unintentionally in the water, float on your back.
- Call the police on the non-emergency number (101) if you see people in the water as (in most cases) they are not supposed to be there.
- Call the emergency response number (999) if someone is in trouble as Bucks Fire & Rescue have a dedicated water rescue team.
- The safest place to swim is in a swimming pool.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) first launched the annual Drowning Prevention Week in 2013 to raise awareness of water safety during the summer months, when warmer weather means people are more likely to spend time outdoors and around water.
Across our 6,000 acres of greenspace and parks, Milton Keynes has more shoreline than the island of Jersey so it’s vital that we raise awareness of the dangers associated with our waterbodies.
Our message is simple – stay out of the water unless you are participating in an official organised activity. The only lake The Parks Trust cares for which offers open water swimming is Willen Lake where the sessions are managed and life-guarded so swimming can be enjoyed safely.
On the surface the rivers and lakes may look inviting but its what’s underneath that can be hazardous. With the rise and fall of the water levels throughout the year you might not always be able to see what’s lurking beneath. Hidden hazards and underwater structures such as weirs can’t always be seen from above, jumping into the river or lake could cause serious injury.
Even in warm weather, the water can be extremely cold. Cold water shock can incapacitate even the strongest of swimmers. If you do want to go for a swim, the safest places to go is to a swimming pool where there will be qualified lifeguards and the water will be kept at a safe temperature.
The Royal Life Saving Society have created a range of resources for schools, community groups and families that you can find on their website. We also runs free assemblies for schools across Milton Keynes to talk to children about the potential dangers of water.