Education manager drafted into region to help reduce water deaths

A water safety education manager has been drafted into the region to help reduce water deaths and improve safety.

Water safety education manager Andy Lane
Water safety education manager Andy Lane

West Mercia's police and crime commissioner John Campion has made an investment to try to improve water safety education, as part of the ongoing Home and Dry campaign.

More than 450 people died across England from drowning in 2020.

In a partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), a dedicated water safety education manager, will now be working with the commissioner and his team to develop resources for young people.

The ultimate aim is to create a cross-curricular pilot scheme which could be delivered across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and help to shape education nationally.

Mr Campion said “We need to reduce the devastating impact of water deaths.

"Education is such a key part of this, and by investing to focus here, we can develop something which has a significant impact on changing behaviours at a very young age, and help to prevent some of the tragic incidents which have had a deep impact on our communities and on our emergency services.

"Over the last few years, I have continued to drive the Home and Dry campaign, with fantastic support from a network of more than 20 organisations.

"This will ensure the campaign continues to progress and evolve.”

RLSS UK water safety education manager Andy Lane has been recruited into the role.

He said “I am excited to be part of this campaign, helping to develop a greater understanding of the dangers to prevent future tragedies, and ensure everyone can enjoy water safely.

"Building on the current work and the existing Home and Dry package, I will build connections with national and local networks, test different approaches, use statistics and incident data to create a more detailed profile of the problem.

"This will help shape a package which is effective, and can be rolled out widely to benefit as many people as possible.”

It comes as RLSS UK, the drowning prevention charity, warned swimmers to take care in open water earlier this month after more than a dozen people in the UK died in the water amid scorching temperatures.

It said it was aware of 17 incidents of accidental loss of life in the water between July 17 and July 20.

All the incidents occurred in England, except for one which happened in Northern Ireland.

For more information on the charity and water safety visit rlss.org.uk

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