Water safety advice

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The flooded River Severn from Castlefields, ShrewsburyRisk assessment - Training at Plas Menai

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service's site specific risk assessments, river mapping and zoning assists in the mobilising of a safe and appropriately trained and equipped response.

The Water Safety information below is provided to young people using booklets and the 'Be Cool Be Safe' website designed especially for school children: www.becoolbesafe.co.uk


Water can be dangerous

Each year around 50 children under the age of 16 drown. It's the 3rd most common cause of accidental death amongst youngsters. It's easy to see why.

  • Water can be very cold
  • It can be hard to see how deep it is
  • There may be hidden rubbish underneath - like shopping trolleys or broken glass
  • The water may be polluted and could make you unwell
  • You could catch a potentially lethal disease (Weils disease)
  • It can be difficult to get out (the banks maybe slippery or too steep)
  • There are no lifeguards

Keep your eyes open

  • Swimming in a cold river or lake - even on a very hot day - is very different from swimming in a heated swimming pool
  • Many of the people who drown in rivers or lakes are good swimmers but cannot survive the effects of the cold water and strong currents
  • The sea can be a very dangerous place too. Before bathing always read the signs telling you about safe areas and the times of high and low tides
  • Always make sure that an adult knows where you are, and take care when using an inflatable toy or dinghy as you may be swept out by the tide or a hidden current and drown
Life Belt / Life Buoy

Life preservers or life belts are very important and can mean the difference between life and death to someone in trouble.

Never play with them, tamper with them or remove them.



What should you do if you see someone in trouble in the water?

  • Do not go in after them
  • If there is an adult nearby tell them at once
  • If there is a float or life buoy, throw it to the person in the water
  • Use the nearest telephone and ring 999. Ask for the police or the coastguard if you are at the beach
  • Take care with frozen ponds, rivers and lakes they are extremely dangerous

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