Respect the water this summer

Stay safe with our top tips

With the weather getting warmer we know many people will be heading out to the water. This summer we are encouraging residents to respect the water. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in the UK. Drownings can happen quickly with most people having no intention of entering the water. 40% of people who accidentally drowned in 2022 had no intention of entering the water.

In Surrey we have many different bodies of water, large lakes, and the river Thames. They should all be treated with respect - water can kill. We want you to enjoy the water this summer so please remember these top tips.

The water may look inviting but even on a warm day the water can be cold. It doesn't matter if you are a strong swimmer. Jumping into the water to cool off can lead to cold water shock, which can result in drowning. If you start to struggle in the water:

  1. Tilt your head back with ears submerged
  2. Relax, breathe normally
  3. Move your hands to help you float
  4. Spread your arms and legs out
  5. Once your breathing is controlled, call for help or swim to safety

If you see someone in trouble in the water, remember this lifesaving advice:

  • Call 999
  • Tell them to float on their back
  • Throw something to help them float

Males account for 87% of these accidental fatalities, 60% of which are in inland waters such as rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. Simple tips to help stay safe include:

  • Stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water's edge.
  • Don't enter the water after drinking alcohol.
  • Walk a safe route home after drinking, with friends and away from water.
  • Cold water shock can kill, walking into the water rather than jumping in can help reduce the risk.

As the statistics show, many people don't expect their time near water to turn into an emergency. So, knowing what to do if you or someone else is in trouble in the water could be lifesaving.

Find out more using our water safety webpages.

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