Firefighters stage river rescue demonstration in Bath

Firefighters from Bath Fire Station demonstrated their water rescue skills to highlight the importance of safety by the river.

As part of events to mark Drowning Prevention Week (Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 June) firefighters trained in swift water rescue techniques carried out a demonstration in the River Avon at Pulteney Weir on Thursday 25 June.

Group Manager for Bath & North East Somerset, Matt Hunt, said: “River safety remains a topical issue in the city of Bath, and much has taken place by the River Safety Group to install fencing and a range of safety measures.

“This exercise is about highlighting some of the things people can do to make sure they don’t fall in the water in the first place and the real dangers that exist once in the water. We are also warning young people about the dangers of jumping into lakes and reservoirs. They may look very inviting, but below the surface the water will be extremely cold and there could be hidden objects under the water.”

“Between April 2014 and March 2015 AF&RS was called to 25 incidents where people were in the water or in need of rescue from the water. We hope that this exercise will encourage people to think about taking a few steps to ensure they are safe when near water.”

Safety advice:

  • Rivers, canals and open water can present a real danger if you’ve had a drink. The water can be extremely cold, and added to the effects of alcohol, can dramatically affect the reactions of even the strongest swimmer.
  • Plan a route at the start of the night. If your walk home takes you past water could you take an alternative route or get a taxi?
  • To help you stay more aware during a night out, drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

What to do if somebody is in trouble:

  • Do not put yourself in danger. Do not enter the water or jump in.
  • Shout for help, ring 999 and request the fire and rescue service.
  • Throw designated rescue equipment or rope, if available, to pull the person to the bank. Otherwise throw in something that will float as this will help keep the person afloat until assistance arrives.

For more information and advice on river safety click here