Reminder to stay safe near water

South Beach, Blyth.
South Beach, Blyth.
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Residents are being warned to be vigilant when out and about near water.

Officers from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service are backing Drowning Prevention Week, which runs until May 1 and is organised by The Chief Fire Officers Association.

This year the campaign focuses on the issue of people drowning when slipping or falling into water.

In 2014 alone, there were 633 water-related deaths across the UK.

Mark McCarty, assistant Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Similar to the work that we undertake on road and accident prevention, water safety and drowning prevention can keep residents safe in the county and potentially save lives.

“By backing the campaign, we are committed to helping to spread water safety messages and to stressing the importance of taking care near waterways.”

Dave Ledger, chair of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Authority and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “In Northumberland, we have miles of coastline, rivers and country parks with large lakes and ponds and we want residents to continue to enjoy these locations. Drowning Prevention Week will make sure that residents are aware of the potential risks and now how to stay safe in the county.”

The campaign will highlight some of the issues raised in the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy which aims to reduce the number of drowning deaths by 50 per cent by 2026.