Fire Service works with local businesses to prevent accidental drownings

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Bars, restaurants and businesses along Ipswich’s Waterfront have today (29 August 2019) attended awareness training in the event of anyone falling into water.

Water safety training at Waterfront IpswichAs part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service prevention work, these waterside businesses have been supplied with a safety throw line to keep at their premises. This is a small bag containing a floating line which can be deployed very quickly and easily in the event of someone falling into the water around the marina.

Staff were given training on how to effectively operate the new equipment, supported by the local Coastguard from Felixstowe and Holbrook, which could be the first action in saving someone’s life.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Station Commander, Phil Geeson, said:

“I’m really pleased to see local businesses taking an interest in helping to keep their customers and local visitors safe. Should someone fall into the water, these safety lines could help a passer-by aid a casualty’s survival until the emergency services arrive.

“As a service, our firefighters are highly trained and available to respond to a whole range of emergency incidents, including water rescues. We also have a team of officers carrying out our Prevention work supported by operational crews helping to reduce risk in our community.”

In 2018, 263 people lost their lives in accidental drownings in the UK, the majority being male fatalities (87%). Nearly two people every week lost their lives when walking or running by water.

Dan Johnson from Pizza Express, who attended the session with some of his staff, said:

“It’s been really helpful, it’s always good to be able to help anyone if they do get into trouble. I haven’t seen it happen very often but it’s nice to have the back up and it was good training.”

If you see anyone in difficulty in the water, put your own safety first and do not jump in – shout for help and get someone to call 999.