for those who love the outdoors

20 June, 2022


Drowning Prevention Week 2022: how to stay safe in the water this summer

This summer, make sure to stay safe in the water with Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) 2022. DPW is a week-long campaign that aims to help ensure everybody can enjoy the water safely.

Drowning prevention week water safety

With the skills and knowledge to make the right decisions about water safety, this summer will be a time to make memories that will last a lifetime, for all the right reasons! We need your help to spread the word and share our messages as far and as wide as possible. So please share this blog post on social media and tell your friends and family about drowning prevention week and help to keep them safe this summer.

Drowning Prevention Week: the latest statistics

  • In the UK and Ireland drowning takes an average of 402 lives each year
  • More than 46% of those who drown never intended to be in the water
  • Over 62% of accidental drownings happen in inland water
  • Around 44% of accidental drownings happen between May and August
  • In a recent survey only 30% of parents said they were ‘very confident’ that their child knows how to stay safe in and around water (survey conducted March 2022)
  • 50% of children have not had swimming lessons at school in the last year (March 2022)
  • It is estimated that through the pandemic, close to 2 million children have missed out on school swimming lessons in England alone

The statistics don't lie, it's clear we need to raise more awareness of the dangers of our waterways and how to stay safe when swimming. Swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking are just some of the many ways that we can enjoy our waterways. Here's a few tips to help reduce risk and keep you safe this summer.

Tips to help prevent drowning

Whilst there are many ways to help prevent drowning such as never swimming alone, understanding the weather and water conditions before you go open water swimming and never drinking alcohol before or during any water activity, there are some basics as put together by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) that everyone should follow.

Stop and Think

Take time to assess your surroundings

Look for the dangers and always research local signs and advice.

Stay Together

When around water, always go with friends or family and swim at a lifeguarded venue or beach. If you are going out on your own, ensure you tell someone when and where you are going and notify them when you get back.

In case of emergency, call 999

Ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when near inland water and the Coastguard if you're by the coast. Don't attempt to enter the water to rescue yourself.


If you fall in or become tired whilst out swimming, stay calm, float on your back and call for help.

If you spot someone else in trouble, through something in that floats to help support them including the life buoy's that you see dotted along our coastline.

Do your children know how to stay safe around water?

Did you know that over 55% of parents surveyed said they would not be confident their child would know what to do if they fell into open water?

With figures indicating that around 25% of primary school pupils leave school unable to swim, there is a real fear that as a result of the pandemic many more children will lack the ability or confidence to swim or self-rescue, should they find themselves in difficulty in the water.

We are supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, running from 18-25 June 2022, and urging our readers to access the charity’s free online resources to ensure their children have the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.

With many of us opting for staycations once again this year, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk. Or for those of us who will be venturing abroad for their summer holiday, they may find themselves using non-lifeguarded pools or beaches and therefore be at risk if they do not have the necessary water safety skills.

As children enter their late teens, they become increasingly more likely to take risks, with more than 402 people accidentally drowning every year. And for every drowning death that occurs, there are more than 10 near-drownings, with many of these leading to life-changing injuries.

Where to go for more information

For more information and more great resources about water safety and Drowning Prevention Week 2022, head over to the RLSS website here.

Drowning P Revention Week RLSS 2022

This content was in part provided by the Royal Life Saving Society. 

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