Avon Fire & Rescue Service supports national water safety campaign

Staff from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be supporting a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who lose their lives in waterways in the UK.

Fire and rescue services around the country will be taking part in activity to support the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week which takes place from Monday 23 to Monday 29 April.

Drowning is one of the UK’s leading causes of accidental death. Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Many more people are left with life changing injuries in water related incidents.

Following a number of deaths in the waterways in Bristol and Bath in recent years involving young men who had been out socialising, firefighters will be seeking the support of local bars and clubs to spread the campaign’s messages.

During the safety week crews will be distributing leaflets and posters to venues close to the water in Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare in a bid to encourage drinkers to consider how they will get home at the end of their night.

Steve Quinton, Head of Community Safety at Avon Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Very sadly every year across the country we lose too many people as a result of accidents in water. This is a risk that all fire and rescue services are working together to reduce.

“In our area a number of those we have lost their lives are young men who have been out enjoying themselves before meeting tragic and untimely ends. There is already a huge amount of work taking place in both Bristol and Bath to both educate and protect people, but it’s vital we keep water safety uppermost in the minds of those on a night out.

“We’re extremely grateful to all the bars and clubs that are working with us to educate their customers about the risks but it’s important we concentrate on ensuring long term behavioural change.”

Firefighters are promoting the following advice to those whose night out takes them close to a waterway.

  • Avoid walking home alongside water after a night out.
  • Make sure friends get home safely after a night out - don't let them walk alone by the water.
  • Plan your journey home before you go out.

For more information visit https://www.avonfire.gov.uk/river-water-and-alcohol-dont-mix