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February 8, 2019

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Water Safety

Water safety: New guidance released to prevent inland water drownings

RoSPA has released a new book with guidance and advice on how to manage sites to help prevent inland water drownings.

canalAround two thirds of all drowning deaths in the UK happen at inland waters, with 1,029 people being killed in accidental drownings at sites such as rivers, reservoirs, canals, lakes, lochs, harbours, ponds and streams in the UK between 2012 and 2016.

Safety charity RoSPA acknowledges that, while each individual location will pose its own particular risks and challenges, more can be done to prevent these drownings from happening. The charity has a new book entitled Safety at Inland Waters, which contains guidance and advice for those managing inland water sites.

The book is aimed at those with responsibility for land adjoining inland waters and provides information to help the to make informed decisions on risk and safety.

David Walker, RoSPA’s Leisure Safety Manager and author of the book, said: “Over the five years from 2012, 60% of drownings were at inland water sites, so clearly this is an issue that urgently needs addressing.

“There is something that all stakeholders can do to reduce the risks, and by working together we can drive down the number of people needlessly dying in the UK’s waters every year. I hope that Safety at Inland Waters will enable all managers with a responsibility for such sites to better understand and manage risks, and that it acts as a catalyst for further reductions in drownings.”

Steve Birtles, Chairman of the National Water Safety Forum Inland Waters Group and Head of Safety Management at The Broads Authority, said: “We welcome this new edition that has drawn on the expertise and experience of a wide range of organisations who are directly involved with the management of public safety on inland waters.

“It has been designed to help landowners and managers learn about best practice and some of the simple measures that they can take to mitigate the risk of drowning, to help them obtain a clearer understanding of the extent of their responsibilities and appreciate the wide range of resources that are available to support them. Most importantly, I hope that they will recognise from the various case studies and examples that they will not be alone when working on drowning prevention.”

The book is free to download here.

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