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Be Water Aware during Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Week

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is joining fire and rescue services across the UK in supporting The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Week – Be Water Aware, which is taking place from 24 April –30 April 2017.

Latest statistics show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water. The campaign is raising awareness of the everyday dangers of being near water, as statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidentally drowned in the UK had no intention of entering the water. Adhering to some simple advice can reduce your risk of ending up in the water and by asking people to 'be water aware' fire and rescue services aim to reduce the number of fatalities.

CFOA's Water Safety Lead, Dawn Whittaker, said: "Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fisherman. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths".

Station Commander, Stuart Crebbin, said: "We are keen to highlight water safety awareness to children, their parents and as wide a cross-section of the local community as possible. People do not understand the dangers of open water and we would like to highlight the dangers and encourage people, whatever their age, to take extra care. The strongest swimmers can find themselves in difficulty, as the cold water causes muscles to cramp. There is then a strong possibility that they cannot swim due to muscular cramps which can then lead to drowning."

Visit HWFRS's website at www.hwfire.org.uk for additional water safety information or follow @HWFireSafety