Swim England

A nation swimming

New stats show reduction in number of drownings

Swim England News

Research from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on the latest UK drowning statistics show that prevention efforts appear to be reducing the number of water based fatalities.

Figures from the National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID) show a 15 per cent fall in the number of people who drowned accidentally or through natural causes in water in 2017.

RoSPA believes the numbers are promising. The early work being undertaken as part of the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy is seemingly taking effect.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said: “We are cautiously optimistic about the figures for 2017 and the general downward trend in drowning over the past few years.

“What this information doesn’t show is the considerable partnership working within the National Water Safety Forum and in communities up and down the country; from helping children to learn to swim, to building water safety communities, and raising awareness of key risks without stopping people enjoying the water.

“We are still in the early phases of the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy. It was only launched by the forum two years ago. However these figures give us encouragement. We hope that we can continue to address the burden of drowning.”

Prevention is key

Jon Glenn, Swim England’s Learn to Swim director, said: “While these figures are encouraging, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure we see a further reduction in the number of people drowning.

“Prevention is the key and this begins with children learning to swim while at school. We are committed to supporting schools and providers in their delivery of swimming and water safety lessons, helping to create a society where everyone has the opportunity to learn how to swim.

“Swim England’s partnership with the RNLI to deliver our Swim Safe programme is also a vital tool in teaching youngsters to be safe while swimming outdoors.

“In five years, Swim Safe has taught almost 30,000 seven to 14-year-olds how to stay safe and what to do if they get in to trouble. We are incredibly proud to be a part of Swim Safe and hope many more youngsters take advantage of the free sessions taking place at more than 25 locations across the country this summer.”