The RNLI is urging anyone who finds themselves in trouble in cold water to stay calm and ‘float’ as it launches its Respect the Water campaign.
The charity is calling on the public to practice the ‘float’ survival skill – a simple move that could mean the difference between life and death – and to share this lifesaving knowledge with others.
The RNLI has created a new video explaining the key steps to floating, to help give people the confidence to be able to float if they find themselves in trouble in cold water.
The video is available at: RNLI.org/RespectTheWater and explains the five steps to floating if they find themselves in trouble in cold water.
Nick Ayers, RNLI community safety partner, said: “Losing someone to drowning is a shattering experience, so I am very pleased that several people said the RNLI’s Respect the Water ‘float’ advice helped them survive in a dangerous situation in the water last year.
“We are hopeful that our safety campaigning and education work will contribute to a reduction in coastal deaths, but we cannot get complacent.
“It’s vital we all keep sharing lifesaving advice. One drowning is one too many.
“A worrying statistic is that male deaths made up 91% of the fatalities on the north east coast in 2017, with many of them ending up in the water unexpectedly. It clearly highlights much more must be done to help men keep themselves safe around the coast.”
Evan Chrisp, 16, from the North East, was one of the seven people who said ‘floating’ helped save their life in 2017.
He said: “I was jumping over waves with friends and got swept out to sea.
“I remembered the RNLI’s advice to float on my back and this helped me catch my breath and calm down before then trying to swim to safety.
“Thankfully I made it to a nearby yacht.”