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14/04/2021

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England, April 2021

 

The government’s Spring 2021 Roadmap is a four-step plan aiming to ease lockdown restrictions across England*.

On Monday April 12, England entered into the ‘Step 2’ of the country’s ‘roadmap’ out of COVID restrictions.

*Guidance for ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland

 

What the changes mean for water and leisure activities:

Outdoor club training resumed on March 29 alongside the reopening of open-air swimming pools and open water venues.

On April 12, indoor swimming pools and aqua parks reopened and indoor club activity for under 18’s was permitted again

If you are planning to put on event, please consider the following:

 

An event can take place at Step 2 if:

  1. All three of the following conditions are met:
    a) The event takes place outdoors

    b) Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day

    c) It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR 
  2. It is a drive-in performance or show.

Remember that all events organised should be managed with social distancing in mind.

As with Step 1b, spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land, other than adults needed to supervise under-18s that they have a responsibility for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities participating in an organised sporting event or activity.

They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households. This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space, e.g. a park, at Step 1b or Step 2, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed events), or events that are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. a major marathon) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until Step 3.

Organised events guidance for local authorities in England has been published by the Government and is available to view on our Covid-19 advice page.

The advice is subject to change and the National Water Safety Forum will keep members updated.


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30/03/2021

March newsletter from the National Water Safety Forum

 

Message from the Chairman

 

This week, people across the country gathered together to mark the anniversary of the first UK-wide lockdown. We all remember the panic, fear and uncertainty that characterised the days and weeks leading up to Monday March 23 2020.

Since then, more than 125,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives due to the coronavirus. I  am sure I speak for everyone in the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) when I say that our thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one to this terrible disease and we will continue to do our bit to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

It is in the spirit of preserving life and protecting the public that our mission endures. I know that all organisations within the NWSF are preparing for when restrictions are lifted and we may well, yet again, see record numbers of visitors at our inland and coastal waters. I look forward to hearing about our members' dynamic campaigns and live-saving activities as we move towards the summer. We have held initial briefing sessions for a more unified water safety campaigns and messaging effort under the banner of 'Respect The Water', which the RNLI has kindly released to the NWSF and its members.

I have now submitted the NWSF's consultation report concerning the 'Review of Legal Responsibility for Beach Safety'. It will be considered by the Minister for Aviation and Maritime, Robert Courts MP, and it forms a part of the Government's wider consultation. My aim is to publish it on the NWSF website in due course, but in the mean-time I remain very grateful for the excellent range of responses i received from members.

To turn to another milestone, the National Water Safety Newsletter, which you are reading now, is celebrating its first birthday this month. We always welcome content and ideas from our members.

If you have any suggestions or feedback do not hesitate to send an email to info@nationalwatersafety.org.uk.

Until next time,

George Rawlinson
Chairman
National Water Safety Forum

 

Reminder: WAID Dashboard


View the new interactive report, which allows users to visualise water-related incidents by local authority area, as well as explore how demographic factors, such as age and gender, impact on accidental drowning and unintentional entry into open water.

The interactive report contains information relating to UK water incidents that were reported between 2014-2019.

 

'Respect the Water' workshops


The RNLI has kindly agreed to host a workshop with their marketing and water safety teams to talk you through developments, share some new resources and offer a question and answer session. The ideal audience will be members of the forums coordinating group and relevant members of your communications or marketing teams. It will cover:

Respect the water brand guidelines
Principle of use
Agreements
Future support


Look out for further details.

 

Reporting back: Coastal Working Group

 

Earlier this month, the National Water Safety Forum’s Coastal Group met virtually for the first time this year.

The focus of the meeting was on preparations for coastal safety this summer. It’s predicted that there will be record numbers of visitors at the coast this year as the weather improves and lockdown restrictions ease.

Members discussed preventative strategies and the work that has been done so far, sharing updates and future proposals:

Joint communications

This included ideas on how members can join forces and spread joint safety messages far and wide to both coastal and inland audiences to maximise reach. The key messages will include top tips and safety advice on how to stay safe at the coast together with the call 999 Coastguard emergency message.

Letter to beach owners and local authorities

The RNLI and HM Coastguard reported back on a recent collaboration. The organisations have shared a letter with beach owners and local authorities providing data and information to help support safety measures, preparations, risk assessments and planning.

Policing contributing to coastal safety

Following a presentation by Inspector Adrian Woon from Devon and Cornwall Police and his colleague Sergeant Andy Mulhern, who leads on the police led Coast Safe campaign, the group explored how policing can help push safety messages and drowning prevention activity, as well as the role they may play on a national level looking ahead.

The working group will meet again in May and will report back.

 

Water Safety Scotland update

 

Water Safety Scotland's Steering Group are currently re-invigorating subgroups with the view ahead after lockdown. Our Education Subgroup is back up and running and the Recreational Subgroup has its first meeting late in March.

The Data Subgroup have started to draft up a process for a voluntary drowning fatality review following incidents. It will be based on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) case conferences.

The  ‘Respect The Water’ banner and unified communications campaign is a positive step for the UK and Scotland. The WSS steering group have agreed its use and all members have had time to feedback. Water Safety Scotland officially endorses the campaign.

 

RoSPA welcomes new Leisure Safety Manager

 

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has appointed a new Leisure Safety Manager, Carlene McAvoy, who will promote safe, healthy and active lifestyles as part of her work.
 
Carlene brings a wealth of experience to role having being at the forefront of developing water safety policy in Scotland for many years. Carlene founded Water Safety Scotland and was a key author on Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy – two major milestones for Scotland.
 
Prior to her most recent appointment, Carlene McAvoy was employed by RoSPA as a Community Safety Development Manager (Scotland) where her brief covered accident prevention in the home and water activities so will be familiar face to many at the National Water Safety Forum.


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04/03/2021

NWSF Coastal Group update

 

NWSF coastal group: preparing for a busy summer and coastal safety

The National Water Safety Forum’s Coastal Group met virtually for the first meeting of 2021 last week.

The focus was on preparations for coastal safety this summer. It’s predicted that there will be an influx of visitors at the coast this year as the weather improves and lockdown restrictions ease.

Member discussed preventative strategies and the work that has been done so far, sharing updates and future proposals.

Joint communications

This included ideas on how members can join forces and spread joint safety messages far and wide to both coastal and inland audiences to maximise reach. The key messages will include top tips and safety advice on how to stay safe at the coast together with the call 999 Coastguard emergency message.

Letter to beach owners and local authorities

The RNLI and HM Coastguard reported back on a recent collaboration. The organisations have shared a letter with beach owners and local authorities providing data and information to help support safety measures, preparations, risk assessments and planning.

Policing contributing to coastal safety

Following a presentation by Inspector Adrian Woon from Devon and Cornwall Police and his colleague Sergeant Andy Mulhern, who leads on the police led Coast Safe campaign, the group explored how policing can help push safety messages and drowning prevention activity, as well as the role they may play on a national level looking ahead.

Other discussion included how partners in the group have supported each other, working collaboratively, to ensure training and qualifications are in place ahead of the lifeguard season, a presentation on individuals in crisis and HM Coastguard’s suicide incident support strategy, and James Scott Anderson from British Marine presented on the plans for introducing a Code of Practice for Marinas and Boatyards to improve safety in the recreational marine industry.

With the busy season just around the corner, the group will be meeting again in May.


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14/01/2021

January newsletter from the National Water Safety Forum

Message from the Chairman


At the time of writing, all parts of the UK are in lockdown and new infections of coronavirus have surpassed the peak of last spring. Government guidelines have placed restrictions on travel and the public have been instructed only to take exercise in their locality.

However, National Water Safety Forum (NSWF) partners must be ready for a time when restrictions will be lifted and we may, once again, see record-levels of visitors at the UK's coastal and inland water destinations.

In preparation for this, NWSF partners have contributed to the review of Legal Responsibilities for Beach Safety and I will report back on this in due course. I know that NWSF member organisations continue to work tirelessly to keep the public safe during this challenging time.

To assist with our on-going monitoring of water-related incidents, the NWSF has produced an interactive report which allows users to review the available data about reported cases of accidental drowning in the UK.

Finally, I am pleased to say that at the end of last year, the first-ever Welsh drowning prevention strategy was unveiled by Water Safety Wales. I look forward to sharing the success of the partnership and hope to see more strategies of this kind come forward from other parts of the UK.

Thank you for your continuing efforts on behalf of drowning prevention and water safety.

George Rawlinson
Chairman
National Water Safety Forum

 

New WAID Dashboard

View the new interactive report, which allows users to visualise water-related incidents by local authority area, as well as explore how demographic factors, such as age and gender, impact on accidental drowning and unintentional entry into open water.

The interactive report contains information relating to UK water incidents that were reported between 2014-2019.


Beach Safety Workshop

Towards the end of last year, the independent review of the Legal Responsibilities for Beach Safety was published. The review, which was carried out by DWF on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, considers the legal framework and responsibility for water safety at the UK coast.

Issues such as the definition of a beach, current legal duties and emergency search and rescue response are all considered.

On Thursday, January 21 between 10am-1pm, the National Water Safety Forum will be hosting a feedback and review session. The session will be led by NSWF Chairman George Rawlinson, and will provide opportunity for discussion about the contents of the review of the Legal Responsibilities for Beach Safety. There will be a report back about this workshop in the next edition of the NWSF newsletter.

Reporting Back: Winter Coastal Safety Campaign

Joanne Groenenberg, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, reports back on a recent public safety campaign:

Over the Christmas and New Year period, HM Coastguard and RNLI teamed up to promote a new winter safety campaign aimed at ensuring people were as safe as possible over what can traditionally be a busy period along our coastlines.

Back in the summer the two organisations, recognising the likely surge in coastal visits, came together to promote a safety campaign which urged people to avoid taking inflatables to sea, find out about rip currents, check tides, and call 999 Coastguard in an emergency.

The winter campaign focused on subjects most likely to cause incidents over the winter period: tidal cut-offs, cliff safety and winter seas. Three films were made using Coastguard and RNLI footage, along with some impactful real-life material. Some of the messaging reminded the public to stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges, to take a fully charged phone with them, to check tide times before they go and to remember to call 999 in an emergency at the coast. Online advertising was targeted at those most likely to be involved in winter coastal incidents; we used lifeboat launch data to help inform this decision. Organic social media posts also ensured that we delivered our messages to those who needed them most.

Although we haven’t received all of the analytics from the campaign yet, we do know that just under 4million people were reached on Facebook as a result of the advertising and an additional 425,000 as a result of the MCA’s organic feed. Our NWSF partners also helped us to reach as many people as possible on their social media channels so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. We hope to run the campaign again in the spring, dependent upon lockdown measures.

Wales Drowning Prevention Strategy

Shortly before the Christmas break, the first-ever Wales Drowning Prevention Strategy was launched by Lesley Griffiths MS, Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. The strategy was drawn up by Water Safety Wales and has set an aspiration to see zero water-related fatalities in the country.

The key aims of the strategy, which runs from 2020-2026, are to improve water incident data and intelligence in Wales and promote and develop learning to swim and water safety education. Support will also be offered to communities to develop water safety plans to understand and mitigate any risks.

The strategy aims to promote public awareness of water-related risks and ensure consistent safety messages reach the right people at the right time, by promoting safe participation in water activities across Wales.


Visit Scotland: The Year of Coast and Water

Each year Scotland’s national tourism organisation, Visit Scotland, chooses themes to promote the wealth of cultural, historical and natural treasures which can be found in the country. Last year was designated to be the year of Scotland’s coasts and waters but owing to the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic, Visit Scotland has decided to continue with the theme in 2021.

To help ensure that members of the public are kept safe when visiting inland and coastal waters, Visit Scotland has partnered with Water Safety Scotland to promote a Water Safety Code.

Safety information will be distributed alongside marketing material which displays Scotland’s waterside destinations. The Water Safety Code explains how to manage risks that may lead to entering the water unintentionally, and what to do in an emergency.


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26/11/2020

NWSF Coastal Group update

Covid-19, challenges and coastal impact

The National Water Safety Forum's Coastal Group reunited after longer than usual due to the challenges and conflicting priorities that came with the global pandemic.

 

Looking back

The group held a virtual get together which kicked off with each organisation reflecting on the impact of Covid-19. Discussions were held on how each member could continue to support one another and work towards the joint aim of reducing drownings by 50% by 2026 amidst these unique challenges. The virtual room also exchanged lessons learnt for the future.


Observations, new trends and activities

With many people flooding to the beaches for ‘staycations’ or to exercise, unsurprisingly it was the busiest summer on record for Her Majesty’s Coastguard, the RNLI and other local authorities and emergency services, in terms of emergency search and rescue incidents at the coast.

Some coastal visitors  were not familiar with potential hazards, but even the most frequent visitors were caught out by coastal dangers. From boating to kayaking, experienced and inexperienced participants alike, many people have also been going out on the water for all types of recreational water activities, with paddle boarding rising in popularity more than ever before.

Collectively these circumstances presented unique challenges for RNLI lifeguards, lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams, and many others, but also had implications for all members in the group. From local authorities responsible for managing crowds on the beach; boating organisations wanting to ensure safe sailing in line with government guidance for both new and experienced members and public users; to managing safety messaging and government guidance for all stakeholders across all nations. Other critical considerations and shared challenges included the human impact on staffing and resources for all members, and the need to ensure safe working practices.

 

Highlights

But there were highlights and positives to take from the challenging circumstances. We saw partnership collaborations such as the National Water Safety forum advice for maintaining the safety of the public and staff during CoVID 19 and a  joint RNLI and HMCG multi-media beach safety campaign in relation to the influx of people to the coast, with the main aim of keeping the public safe and aware of potential coastal dangers. Other collaboration also emerged such as between the RNLI and RYA.

 

Looking ahead

It’s predicted that it will be a busier winter than usual, with more people visiting the coast for walks while other indoor activities are not possible. Also, with more UK holidays likely again in the summer, beaches and popular beauty spots will be much more crowded than in the past. Against this context, the group will continue to work closely together to support and collaborate with each other to develop safety campaigns and other initiatives to promote safe behaviour at the coast during these unprecedented times.

 

Other updates

The group also had updates on the SLSGB/HM Coastguard Agreement, RNLI/HMCG Operational agreement, RNLI Water Safety Strategy, National Water Safety Forum progress update, WAID new process and discovery phase and the latest progress on the review of legal responsibilities for beach safety.

The group will meet virtually again in February to work closer than ever to guide safe behavior for everyone visiting the coast.

 

 

 


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There are 18 items on 4 pages.

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