Child safety notice: Fire chiefs issue water safety warning

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service have asked if schools could take note of the attached press release and emphasise to pupils the hazards of playing in/swimming in open water (there was a drowning in Strathclyde this weekend).

Following the tragic drowning of a teenager at the River Kelvin in Strathclyde at the weekend, fire chiefs are urging youngsters to be aware of the dangers that open water can pose.

Community Safety Manager at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, David Lockhart said:

“Tragically every year we see people lose their lives in accidental drownings. With the school holidays fast approaching we are reminding young people in particular to be aware of the dangers and stay safe this summer.

“We would urge them to stay out of rivers and open areas of water, they can often be deceptively calm but can hide strong currents or weeds which can pose real risks.

“We will be making contact with our colleagues in Education Departments to ask that they highlight safe practice. Our advice is if you see someone in trouble in the water call 999 and stay out of the water. That way you can help emergency services by telling them exactly what you have seen and allow them to carry out a rescue.

“It is very easy to get into difficulty quite quickly in water and there have been cases of strong swimmers caught in fast moving currents and being unable to get themselves out of trouble.

“Whilst we can understand how easy it is for people to try and help by going into the water there are real risks involved in doing so. Take a few minutes to talk to your children this summer about the subject and how they would deal with an emergency situation.”

For further information on Summer Safety visit our website at www.lbfire.org.uk
Download original press release: water safety june (MS Word, 182kB)

Please publicise this widely before the end of term.