Yorkshire Water is reminding people in the region of the dangers of open water, as the utility supports Drowning Prevention Week, which aims to raise awareness of enjoying water safely.
The Royal Life Saving Society’s awareness week runs from 17-24 June aims to encourage people to enjoy water safely and encourages parents, schools, leisure centres and communities to educate young people to help them stay safe around water.
During the week Yorkshire Water will be hosting a series of live events for schools on 21 and 22 June.
Anne Reed, social value & education manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Swimming isn’t just a critical lifesaving skill, it’s a skill that opens up a lifetime of fun and adventure. 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.
“Cold water can be a killer and we'd like to start to raising awareness of water safety from a young age. Tragically, we have already seen a number of open-water fatalities in our region this year. To support Drowning Prevention Week, we are holding a series of water safety live events specifically tailored to different age groups from Early Years to Key Stage 4. Aligning to Swim England’s water safety messaging, we’ll explain how students can help keep themselves and their friends safe, endorse messaging about where to find safe places to swim, and explain in detail why there are hidden dangers in open water areas such as rivers, reservoirs, canals and seas, and that algae in the water can cause rashes and stomach upsets.”
The session for Key Stage 3 and 4 students will be delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI.
The live events will provide information on the potential increased risk of being near water with peers, for older students including elements of peer pressure, risk taking, alcohol and drugs, and students will receive details on how to look after their friends and help ensure they stay safe.
Anne added: “We’ll explain how students should react in an emergency situation, who to contact and that they should not enter the water. They’ll also receive a reminder about ‘Float to Live’ messaging in case they ever get into difficulty.”