The Mirror Reports: Parents whose children drowned unite in grief to spare heartbreak for other families.
As the summer heatwave continues to lure youngsters into rivers, lakes, reservoirs and the sea, they are pleading for action. “Sadly, open water is a magnet for people during the summer. People see it as somewhere they can cool off. But they don’t see the danger.”
Comment: Notice that learning to swim is at the bottom of the list of safety measures below! Uniquely our culture has encouraged pool swimming and vigorously discouraged open water swimming for decades. On a hot sunny day it is natural for youngsters to seek out open water fun. Sadly poor swimming ability does not stifle confidence or bravado. See: From Lifesaving Education to none at all!
RLSS – Tips to swim safe
The Royal Life Saving Society UK gives 12 tips to reduce the risks of swimming in open waters.
■ Always look for warning and guidance signs.
■ Swim parallel with the shore, not away from it.
Avoid drifting in the currents.
■ Do not enter fast- flowing water.
■ Be aware of underwater hazards.
■ Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold.
■ Never enter the water after consuming alcohol.
■ Only enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover.
■ Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help.
■ If someone is in difficulty in the water shout reassurance to them and shout for help and phone the emergency services – call 999 or 112.
■ Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure. Or throw something buoyant such as a ring buoy or anything that will float.
■ Always let someone know where you’re going – take your mobile phone.
■ Learn swimming and life-saving skills.