Safety campaign launched by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to prevent accidental drownings

Date published: 17 June 2022


Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) continue to remind people of the dangers of swimming and jumping in open water as it launches its water safety campaign for this year. It comes as figures released show that 165 people in England accidentally drowned in 2021.

In the last five years, GMFRS have been called to 41 fatal water incidents. Sadly, a number of those were young people who got into difficulty after jumping into or swimming in open water across Greater Manchester. These incidents tend to occur over summer during periods of warmer weather. This summer GMFRS will once again partner with families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in accidental drownings, to share their stories so that no other families experience their heartache.

The campaign launches today, ahead of the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week, which will take place from 18 June to 25 June.

Area Manager Billy Fenwick, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said:

“Tragically, the warmer weather over summer can lead to accidental drownings, particularly amongst young people.

“Our Water Safety campaign helps to educate young people on the dangers of open water. Cold Water Shock can kill even strong swimmers, and people can become caught up in undergrowth and drown.

“As it gets warmer over summer, our message is to never be tempted to jump into or swim in any open water to cool off.”

This year’s campaign will be supported by social media activity throughout summer, as well as digital and printed displays across Greater Manchester in areas that are popular with young people over summer, sharing the campaign messages to help people become aware of staying safe around water. 

On social media, videos will be shared from family and friends, speaking of the dangers of entering open water.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime and Fire, Bev Hughes, said:

“It’s important that we continue to raise awareness of the dangers of open water to prevent accidental drownings, so I am pleased we are launching the GMFRS water safety campaign for this year once again.

The #Safe4Summer campaign runs alongside the water safety campaign and was launched last week in partnership with GMFRS, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 local authorities that make up Greater Manchester. Water safety messages are reinforced through this campaign over the summer months.

You can follow the hashtags #WaterSafety and #DrowningPrevention on social media throughout summer and follow the campaign activity on GMFRS’ social media channels: Twitter @manchesterfire, Instagram @manchesterfire, and Facebook: GMFRS.

You can also visit the GMFRS website for more information on water safety and the campaign.


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