National Water Safety Forum





What is World Drowning Prevention Day?

In April 2021, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly affirmed drowning as a preventable global public health issue and declared 25 July as World Drowning Prevention Day. The full resolution can be accessed here.


Why hold a World Drowning Prevention Day?

It is an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities around the world and offer life-saving solutions for prevention.  

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.   
In 2020 the UK saw an increase in accidental drownings with the key issues being:
  • Inland open waters, such as rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs and quarries continue to be the leading locations with 58% of deaths.
  • Males continue to over represent with 78% of deaths.
  • Almost half of (43%) people had no intention to enter the water, such as those walking, with causes including slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves.

(Full UK 2020 report


How can I get involved?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released guidance for organisations to use in promoting and raising awareness of the event, which is expected to run annually. This guidance can be accessed on the WHO website. In addition an infographic and social media assets are also available.

The NWSF supports World Drowning Prevention Day and urges its members to support the day via social media

In preparation we have put together social media assets and suggested tweets for your use.

We recommend using the following hashtags in any social media posts:


#DrowningPrevention Day


and please tag us on twitter: @NWSFweb


 What are our UK members doing to support the day?

  • RoSPA
    • A specialised social media plan to be actioned on the day and news blog to be posted.  There will be a video release for calls of support by Water Safety Scotland.
  • MCA
    • Communications plan based on - How to spot a rip tide  this World Drowning Prevention Day
  • RNLI in Wales, West and Isle of Man region
    • Waterside Responder Scheme training session on or close to July 25th - likely in Cardiff
  • NFCC
    • Communications plan using DrowningPrevention and RespectTheWater hashtags.  Also planning to launch the new FRS Water Incident Dashboard.
  • Water Safety Scotland
    • A dedicated webpage has been launched and social media plans to be shared with members. Includes a call for short online videos of support. UN resolution document also created to be shared on day with Government support
  • Water Safety Wales
    • A Beach Safety and Activity Day on July 25th is being held at Rest Bay Porthcawl organised by Porthcawl Beach Academy.  Their communication and social media posts plan has been shared with members.  They will also be writing to relevant Welsh Government Ministers.