18th July 2023
On July 25, we will be illuminated blue to help the National Water Safety Forum raise awareness for World Drowning Prevention Day.
Globally, an estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. There were 226 deaths in the UK from accidental drownings in 2022 and 40% of these were accidental, caused by slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves.
To mark this year’s World Drowning Prevention Day, the NWSF is focused on raising awareness of drowning as a public health issue, reminding people that anyone can drown, but no one should.
Tony Sammut, General Manager at Spinnaker Tower, said: “We’re honoured to support this cause and hope to remind people of the tragic impact of drowning on families and communities. We also want to highlight the work the NWSF are doing to offer life-saving solutions for drowning prevention.”
Portsmouth University is also supporting the cause. Researchers from the university’s Extreme Environments research group (EEG) have carried out instrumental work on drowning prevention and have also contributed to the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ and ‘Float to Live’ national water safety campaign.
Heather Massey, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Health at University of Portsmouth, said: “Raising awareness about drowning is so important, but we should also know how to enjoy the water safely and know what to do if you see someone in difficulty. World Drowning Prevention Day provides the opportunity to raise awareness of all of these.”
In April 2021, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly affirmed drowning as a preventable global public health issue and declared July 25 as World Drowning Prevention Day. World Health Organisation (WHO) helps to coordinate activities on drowning prevention.
We join landmarks up and down the country lighting up during the evening of July 25, including Blackpool Tower and Millennium Bridge in Newcastle.
For more information see https://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/drowningpreventionday