Norfolk Fire and Rescue backs Play It Safe water safety campaign
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Norfolk Fire and Rescue has thrown its support behind this newspaper's Play It Safe campaign, urging people to take care while visiting the county's water spots this summer.
It comes as fire crews spent Friday morning at Bawsey pits near King's Lynn providing throw line training for the public at the spot where two people drowned in the last 12 months.
The fire service is expecting a busy few months ahead as more people decide to holiday at home instead of abroad.
Backing Play It Safe, assistant chief fire officer Tim Edwards, said: “We welcome the campaign for its part in helping to spread the message around water safety and helping to reduce the risk of incidents.
“Sadly, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service gets called to water rescues on a weekly basis and there were nine water fatalities in Norfolk in 2020.
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"We are expecting a busy time at our coastal areas and inland waterways this summer and would remind people to follow advice and enjoy themselves safely.”
The training at Bawsey, where there have been several fatalities in the water over the past 10 years, is one of the ways fire officers are hoping to keep everyone safe by the water.
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Learning manager Terry Pinto and his team have been warning that the area is a no swimming site and teaching people how to use the lines.
Mr Pinto said: "Following the two drowning fatalities in the last 12 months, we're working with our partner agencies to try and make sure that no other tragedies occur again.
"We've been down on the site warning and informing the public telling them that people have lost their lives there as well as offering water safety advice and training.
"Where the throw lines are provided people should have some knowledge on how to use them."
He urged anyone who gets into difficulty in water to put themselves on their back, spread themselves out and try to control their breathing before doing anything, to prevent cold water shock.
Mr Pinto added: "A high number of fatalities happen when someone hasn't intended to enter the water, so they've either tripped or fallen in."
To get involved with our Play It Safe campaign you can order a poster for free, with only a small charge for postage and packaging, from this website: https://www.norfolkstore.co.uk/store/Play-it-Safe-Water-Safety-Poster-Just-pay-P&P-p372304298