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Live water rescue demonstration, Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is joining UK fire chiefs this week to warn people of the dangers of drowning when involved in activities either in or near water.

Statistics show that drowning in the UK is now one of the leading causes of accidental death. In 2016 alone, 315 people in Britain accidentally drowned, with around 50% taking part in normal everyday activities near water at the time such as walking or running.

In addition during the same period, 64 people aged between 15-29 drowned, of which over 30% had alcohol in their system at the time

To help spread awareness of the dangers around water, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is supporting The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week between April 23rd and April 29th with a series of events across the area at River Mersey Community Fire and Rescue Station, Mersey Ferries Terminal, Georges Parade, Pier Head, L3 1DP​​​​.

As part of this activity MFRS will join forces with Merseyside Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Mersey Ferries this Wednesday (25th April) to stage a live demonstration of a rescue from water near the Mersey Ferry Terminal.

The demonstration will involve contributions from RNLI lifeboats, a helicopter from Her Majesty’s Coast Guard (HMCG) plus the Marine Fire One Search and Rescue boat and jet skis from Merseyside Fire and Rescue.

In addition there will also be a demonstration of a rescue operation for a passenger casualty on board the Mersey Ferry utilising the skills of the RNLI lifeboat team.

Working as part of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), the NFCC is aiming to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026.

Throughout water safety week, MFRS will be giving advice to people on what they should look out for and steps to take to minimise the risks near water.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager and Lead for Water Safety Steve Pang added: “By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach people we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.

The fire service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focussing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to tackling drowning. Response is not enough - we must prevent drownings.”

The dangers of running near water will be one of the issues highlighted in National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week between April 23rd and April 29th

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