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.


World Drowning Prevention Day 2022

Each year there is a key theme to bring focus and attention to an important aspect of drowning prevention.  This year’s theme will be “Do one thing to prevent drowning”

This theme invites stakeholders to take one firm action to push forward drowning prevention, something that we call can do at any time and at any level.  For example:

  • Individuals: can share water safety advice, take swimming lessons or support local drowning prevention groups and charities.
  • Groups: set up water safety campaigns, support/deliver new drowning prevention initiatives, local public events.
  • Governments: launch prevention policies and strategies, commit to prevention programmes on a wider scale; actively convene parliamentary discussions from petitions.


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 2021 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 62 per cent of deaths
  • Males continue to over represent with 83 per cent of deaths
  • 40 per cent 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 2021 report


How can I get involved?

Following on from 2021 WHO are encouraging people to promote some of the tools and communication assets from last year which can be accessed here.

This includes:

  • “Anyone can drown, no one should” visual, which is available in several languages
  • WHO WDPD amination, narrated by Liam Neeson
  • “Going Blue for WDPD”
  • WHO-convened webinar

There will be further updates on preparations as we get closer to the date. However, we encourage you to start planning your activities and the best way to maximise their impact.

The NWSF will be launching its #RespectTheWater summer campaign to coincide with World Drowning Prevention Day and urges it members to support this 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?

Our members are busy working on their activity plans and we will be sharing these will you very soon.  Watch this space!