Drowning Prevention Week

Issued: Friday 17 June 2016








In support of Drowning Prevention Week 2016 (18-25 June), local school children are being invited to make a splash by taking part in free water safety sessions or school assemblies, delivered by Lincs Inspire.

Drowning Prevention Week is a national campaign, run by the RLSS-UK, which aims to promote water safety messages and help reduce incidents of drowning. Children taking part in the sessions will receive essential water safety training contributing to the requirements of the National Curriculum at key stage 2.

Mary Clark, a Lincs Inspire swim school instructor, said: “More than 400 people drown in the UK each year and thousands suffer life changing injuries due to near-drowning experiences. Shockingly drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK. We already have many schools signed up to sessions as part of Drowning Prevention Week, but schools can request a classroom-based visit or a visit to our pools at any time. Our commitment to water safety is ongoing all year-round. Lincs Inspire is happy to support RLSS UK to reduce the numbers of drowning deaths by informing swimmers about how to be safe near water.”

Mary is also a voluntary Royal lifesaving Trainer/Assessor plus swim teacher with Pilgrim Swimming Club and over her 36 years in this role has taught thousands of children to learn to swim in the town. Mary added: “Pilgrims is a Royal Lifesaving club. We have a waiting list and take children who can swim one length, front and back. We continue to work with them on stroke work and lifesaving skills through the Rookie lifeguard awards and eventually up to their Bronze, Silver and Gold medallions.

“We are a poplar club as we are doing something different in terms of water safety activities it is great fun but importantly they are actually leaning a new skill and how to be able to preserve their own life and of others too.

“My passion is that every child should be given the opportunity to learn to swim in a safe environment, but you need to have an element of fun in it to make it a good environment to learn in.  We train children up to gold medallion in Save and Survive award through the RLSS and then we then put them forward to do their lifeguarding award with Lincs Inspire. The nicest thing is that when we see them employed as a lifeguard at one of sessions in Immingham. We know then that we’ve done our job!”

Last year over 3000 local children took the opportunity to see how potentially they could save a life, either their own or a friends, by attending a talk or practical session on Water Safety and Drowning prevention.

Lincs Inspire is committed to ensuring that all children from North East Lincolnshire can swim and are aware of the dangers when playing in or around water and offer swimming lessons for children and adults. 2016 marks the second year of the Mick Burnett Water Safety Academy, which honours the legacy of former Lincs Inspire Chairman, Mick Burnett and aims to keep local children safe in the water.

Councillor Mick Burnett was a keen supporter of encouraging children to learn to swim and, over his years of serving his local community, provided unwavering support to the area's sports and leisure services. In order to encourage local children to learn to swim, the academy will match fund any business who pledges to support a child to learn to swim.

For more information please contact Rob Allison on (01472) 323347 or email: rob.allison@lincsinspire.com