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Top water safety tips for the summer

PUBLISHED: 14:07 11 August 2017

Lowestoft beach is a popular destination during the summer. Picture: Joe Randlesome.

Lowestoft beach is a popular destination during the summer. Picture: Joe Randlesome.

Archant

With the summer holidays in full swing many of us will be flocking to the nearest beach, enjoying sea, sun and good company.

However, with more than 300 people drowning and many more suffering life-changing injuries in the last year, water safety knowledge is more important than ever.

That is why national youth charity, the Sea Cadets, is launching its Water Savvy campaign to ensure people are properly educated this summer.

Tye Shuttleworth, Sea Cadets head of inshore boating, said: “Many of these tragic incidents could be avoided through good knowledge.

“There are a number of things you can do to ensure you, your family and your friends stay safe.

“When swimming in open water stay close to the shore, make sure you are appropriately dressed and let someone know where you are going.”

Roughly a quarter of people who drown have fallen into the water accidentally. Mr Shuttleworth offered advice on what to do if you find yourself unexpectedly in a body of water.

He said: “If you fall in accidentally cold water shock can be deadly and it is vital you do not swim or try to get out. Instead, focus on floating and keeping your airway above the water.”

Sharon Meadows, of Beccles Sea Cadets, said: “It’s important that people don’t mess around in and near the water or in places they shouldn’t be.

“You should be careful in the water - be aware of your environment and know what is around you.”

Mrs Meadows highlighted the need to stay savvy even once you have left the water.

She said: “Cover up any cuts or scratches you may have and make sure you shower once leaving the water to combat against water borne diseases such as Weil’s disease.”

The Sea Cadets have given some top tips on staying safe this summer. These include:

• Check if there is a lifeguard and identify the safest places to swim.

• Be confident you can make it back to dry land if you get into difficulty.

• Always read the signs and don’t ignore what they say.

For more advice on staying safe this summer you can download a free Water Savvy guide at: www.sea-cadets.org/get-involved

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