This year more than ever we seem to have witnessed countless news reports about young people loosing their lives in our rivers and waterways. This is not something new, it has been happening for many years, but the frequency at which it is happening is something of a concern.
A large group of people, some of whom have lost a loved one to drowning themselves, decided that we needed to take action and raise awareness about Water Safety through education and guidance. The Waterway Safety Campaign was created as a group on Facebook to begin with and has slowly evolved. (www.facebook.com/WaterwaySafetyCampaign). Anyone can join our campaign just by visiting our Facebook page.
We are all aware of our Governments attempts to curb “binge drinking” and the regular advertisements aimed at combating drinking and driving. Alcohol related drowning is an issue that has never been approached on a national scale. Our primary aim is to organise a Drink Awareness Campaign that incorporates basic water safety alongside all of these.
Many towns and cities have a river, canal or major body of water near by popular areas for drinkers. Major concerns are the newly developed urbanised areas along our waterways featuring a higher number of pubs, bars and other drinking establishments.
It seems to be a reoccurring scenario that a person may become separated from their friends after a night out and decide to walk alongside the waterway as a short cut or path home. The consumption of alcohol obviously greatly increases the risk of falling into the water. The more shocking discovery shown from statistics is that this is almost predominantly MALE. It is a natural instinct to take care of our female friends on a night out but it is the general belief that men can take care of themselves. This is obviously not true. It is important to stay together. Don’t walk home alone. Always make sure you have money for a taxi/train/bus.
With the Summer months approaching the risks are increasing. We want to make this information available to everyone in the hope that we can help to save lives.