Inland water fatalities on the increase – one in ten admit nearly drowning
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Inland water fatalities on the increase – one in ten admit nearly drowning

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We believe that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented and urge people to swim only where it’s safe
– Robert Gofton

The number of drownings in the UK's inland waters has risen in the last year.

A survey carried out by The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) revealed that, although the number of total drownings in the UK was down in 2018, there were 254 drowning fatalities in rivers, quarries and lakes during the year, compared to 242 the year before.

Worryingly, the research also showed that one in ten of those surveyed said they had nearly drowned – while 13 per cent personally knew someone who had drowned.

“Every year, we see a tragic amount of preventable deaths as people flock to open water sites that are not suitable for swimming," said Robert Gofton, RLSS CEO.

"It may seem an inviting way to cool off, but there are very real and very deadly dangers at these sites, such as extremely cold water, uneven depths and hidden debris that people can get injured on or caught in.

“We believe that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented and urge people to swim only where it’s safe."

To tackle the worrying trend of an increase in inland water deaths, RLSS launched its Keep 'em Peeled for Perry project, encouraging members of the public to report any missing or damaged life-saving equipment at bodies of inland water, including fences, life rings, throw lines and signage.

Inland water safety also featured heavily during this year's Drowning Prevention Week, held between 14 and 24 June.

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The number of drownings in the UK's inland waters has risen in the last year.
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Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University