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POOL & SPA INDUSTRY

RLSS UK Calls On The Leisure Sector To Support Their #EnjoyWaterSafely Message With millions of youngsters missing out on swimming lessons due to the pandemic, and an unprecedented boom in open water swimming as a consequence of pools being shut, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) believes that this year’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, which took place 19 - 26 June, couldn’t have been better timed!

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ith lockdown restrictions still expected to lift in time for the summer and record levels of UK holiday bookings, RLSS UK and its partners have raised grave concerns that the gap between swimming ability and water safety knowledge, coupled with a surge in outdoor activity, presents a very real risk to public safety. Annually, Drowning Prevention Week provides an opportunity for everyone to get involved in shining a light on water safety, but it is also imperative that the water safety messages continue to be shared throughout the summer months and beyond, when people are more likely to be in and around water with their families. Just as important is that people who own wet leisure products at home (like a hot tub or paddling pool) have an awareness of water safety to ensure that they can enjoy the summer, reconnecting with loved ones, making cherished memories and banishing the lockdown blues. RLSS UK exists to empower people with the skills, knowledge and decision-making tools to enjoy being in, on or around water safely, whatever the weather. Now in its eighth year, Drowning Prevention Week plays a crucial role in raising the awareness of and managing the risks associated with both indoor and outdoor bodies of water, so they are calling on the leisure sector, local authorities, private landowners and everyone involved in UK aquatics, to play their part in helping spread the campaign messages.

HOW CAN YOU PLAY YOUR PART THIS SUMMER? • Contact everyone you know and share their water safety advice and messages • Signpost to their online lessons and water safety resources in your venues • Share resources with your local schools and community groups

• Get vocal on social media, sharing their water safety messages and FREE resources • Deliver water safety sessions or use water safety skills as a theme in planned swimming lessons.

THE FACTS • 25% of primary school children leave school unable to swim – that’s pre-COVID! • 45% of swimmers increased how much they swam outside in 2020* • 90% rise on 2019 figures, for open water swimming-related Google searches • 1.5 – 3 times estimated increase in people open water swimming since 2019*

THE FEELING Losing someone to drowning devastates the family and friends left behind, as well as the wider community. All too often, the warmer weather sees a seasonal spike in drownings across the UK, with people who never intended to be in the water losing their life or a fun day out ending in tragedy. Anecdotal evidence tells us that the following issues can and do play a part in drowning incidents: • Lack of knowledge or under-estimating risk • Lacking ability to self-rescue or steps for self-preservation of life • Lack of competence, especially in outdoor environments

Now in its eighth year, Drowning Prevention Week plays a crucial role in raising the awareness of and managing the risks associated with both indoor and outdoor bodies of water” www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk 29_SPN_June_21_RLSS.indd 29

• Ill-informed thrill-seeking • Lack of supervision. RLSS UK’s training and advice is not positioned as a deterrent to people accessing the water; instead, they believe that through education and training, everyone can enjoy water safely: having fun with family and friends, walking, running or cycling near our beautiful waterways, as well as the innumerable water-based activities on offer, all contribute to boosting the nation’s physical and mental health, and after the year we’ve all faced, we deserve that boost. Swimming is a lifesaving skill and the first defence against drowning, but it also opens up a world of water-based fun and adventure; the more people equipped with the skills and knowledge to make the right decisions about water safety, will make for a happy and healthy summer for us all. This year, more than ever before, RLSS UK needs your help to swell the ranks of people dedicated to keeping our waterways fun, friendly and secure places to be for everyone. The RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week website page has a wealth of resources targeted at a variety of age groups and levels, from lesson plans to posters, press releases to social media posts; these resources are accessible year-round from www.rlss.org.uk/dpw Please do what you can to ensure everyone can enjoy water safely. Follow and share: @RLSS UK and #EnjoyWaterSafely RLSS UK 0300 323 0096 www.rlss.org.uk *Source: Outdoor Swimmer magazine ‘Trends in Outdoor Swimming Report’. February 2021.

SPN June 2021 29 27/06/2021 13:23

Profile for Aqua Publishing Ltd

SPN (Swimming Pool News) June 2021  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...

SPN (Swimming Pool News) June 2021  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...

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