Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has attended on average one drowning every three weeks in the past three years, statistics have revealed today.
The lifesaving charity, in partnership with SARA Wyre Forest, a volunteer search and rescue team based in Kidderminster, are highlighting this data due to the number of fatalities in water in recent weeks.
The charity’s aim to highlight the risks associated with drownings comes after a shocking case in recent months, which saw a number of emergency services working together to save the child involved. The incident story can be watched on Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s YouTube page here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmlXjfB4bDs
Working with SARA Wyre Forest, the charity has identified three ways to stay safe in open water, to reduce the risk of an accident.
- Look out for dangers
There are many dangers in and around open water, and many are hidden under the surface. Read and follow instructions on signs around the water’s edge.
- Never swim alone
Always take someone with you when swimming. They can help, or get help, if needed. Consider joining an open water swimming club.
- Have an emergency plan
Don’t take risks, but accidents can happen regardless of how carful you are. Make sure you know what to do in an emergency situation. There are many sources of information online about first aid skills and basic water rescue techniques.
Ian Roberts, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “In the 47 drowning incidents we attended in the past three years, only ten per cent of those we treated survived, despite the specialist medical care they received from both Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and other emergency services on scene.
“It’s underestimated how dangerous water can be, and with the help of SARA Wyre Forest, we aim to spread the message of being safe in water and hopefully decrease the number of fatalities we see.”
James Bamforth, general manager of SARA Wyre Forest, added: “Sadly, during this time of year we are often called to assist in the aftermath of accidents in and around open water. Whilst we encourage people to use our waterways, we ask that people stop and think about their safety and others around them.”
For more information about SARA Wyre Forest, visit sara-wyreforest.org.uk