1610 backs national Drowning Prevention Week

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1610 backs national Drowning Prevention Week campaign with week-long activities within its swim lessons.

From the 18th – 25th June 1610, is backing the national ‘Drowning Prevention Week’ campaign by including specific activities and content within all of its swim lessons and urging parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe and enjoy the water this summer.

Throughout the week every child that attends learn to swim lessons and school swimming at Trinity Sports and Leisure in Bridgwater, Dorchester Sports centre and South Molton Pool will take part in a range of water safe activities. These will include cold water shock activities, float tunnels to create wave swimming, current and RIP simulation. Plus the HELP Position (Heat Escape Lessening Position), which helps people keep warm if stuck in the water and have a buoyancy aid. The younger children will also be simulating the feeling of swimming in cold water and numbing of your hands and feet from the cold water by swimming with socks on their hands and feet.

With many of us opting for staycations once again this year, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk. Or for those of us who will be venturing abroad for their summer holiday, they may find themselves using non-lifeguarded pools and therefore be at risk if they do not have the necessary water safety skills.

Figures indicate that around 25 per cent of primary pupils leave school unable to swim, and experts fear that as a result of the pandemic many young people lacking the ability to swim or self-rescue.

Drowning Prevention Week aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety.

Over 400 people accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer injury, sometimes life-changing, when they survive drowning.

Ricky Hayes Head of Aquatics for 1610 said: “We are proud to play our part in ensuring our families have a safe summer. We recognise how vitally important it is for children to know how to stay safe near water.  All our lessons have a focus on water safety, but it is especially important to raise awareness in the build up to the summer holidays. We hope with the fun activities we have planned throughout the week; that our children have the knowledge and skills to make the right choices in and around the water. We want children to be able to enjoy all of the fun and benefits of being in and around water but be educated on how to do that safely.”

We also urge our parents to access RLSS UK’s free water safety resources on the Charity’s website.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Charity Director Lee Heard, said: “The UK’s beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level. But we’re urging people to educate themselves and others on how to enjoy water safely and prevent a fun day out ending in tragedy.

“The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial this year. Throughout 2020 and 2021, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.

“RLSS UK believes that through free, accessible education and training, everyone can enjoy water safely. We urge as many parents as possible to get involved with the campaign, use our free online resources, and give their children the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.”

For more information on swim lessons at 1610 visit https://www.1610.org.uk/all-activities/swimming-lessons/

Visit www.rlss.org.uk to access the Charity’s free water safety resources.


The Royal Life Saving Society UK have issued the following advice:

For more information and to find out how you can get involved: www.rlss.org.uk

Notes for Editors: 1610 is a non-profit making leisure trust (formerly Somerset Leisure) which manages leisure facilities across Somerset, Devon and Dorset. 1610 aims to help people live fuller, richer lives through having an active body and an active mind.

For more information about 1610 or you require further information associated with this press release contact Rebecca Sawtell at rsawtell@1610.org.uk or 07808767468

June 2022