National Water Safety Forum



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NWSF Newsletter - September 2022



Message from the Chair


It seems only 5 minutes since I was writing my last address for the additional World Drowning Prevention Day nwsletter last month, but in those few weeks I want to briefly acknowledge how busy it has been for all agencies involved in water safety and drowning prevention. July and the first three weeks of August have obviously seen very high temperatures in the UK with the heatwave and as a consequence the number of people heading to the coast and inland waters “to cool off” has been high...and sadly we have seen the usual relative increase in incidents and fatalities.

When families head out to both UK and foreign holiday locations, it’s important that all agencies continue to share our #RespectTheWater messages, both those that help people understand risk, but also what to do in the event of finding themselves or others in difficultly. Our “Make the right call” and “Float to Live” messages have both helped save lives and I would appreciate it if partners continue to send NWSF any stories of successful rescues to share.

 As we head into September, the NWSF Coordinating Group are preparing for next years’ plan and budget setting and also undertaking a session on “lessons learned” from WDPD 2022 to start preparing for 2023 campaign.

As I head off on leave next week, and for some much needed R&R, I hope you have all had an opportunity for some down time this summer.


Dawn Whittaker

Chair of NWSF




Respect The Water Campaign Highlights


We’re delighted that the Respect the Water campaign, which launched on 25th July (World Drowning Prevention Day), involved over 50 organisations working as a collective with the joint aim to prevent drowning fatalities across the UK. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this a truly special and high impactful launch.

As part of the campaign, TV adverts advising people to resist the instinct to jump into water and instead to call 999 in a water emergency were shown throughout the day on ITV.

This included during Good Morning Britain and Coronation Street, then on targeted catch-up TV via ITV player during shows like Love Island. “Make the right call” outdoor banners were featured in multiple high-risk locations across the UK, including Liverpool, London, Manchester, Glasgow and Bath.

In its first week, 394 UK media outlets covered the campaign including 33 TV stations and over 46 national, regional and commercial radio stations. The new Respect the Water website also went live on World Drowning Prevention Day, enabling people to share the campaign assets, information and film. These are still available on the website to be freely used.

Whilst being proud of the success that the Respect the Water campaign is currently having, we are strategically focused on our long-term goals and drowning prevention targets.

David Walker, Head of Road and Leisure Safety at RoSPA, says: “We are overwhelmed by the reach the RTW campaign has had. Our mission is to halve the number of accidental drownings by 2026. This is a strong start and we look forward to building on this success and getting this message out to the public. Our Forum members and partnerships are our strongest allies and this is just the beginning.”

You can receive campaign updates by signing up to the newsletter at and follow NWSF on Twitter @NWSFweb to share the campaign message. You can also find related posts across social media by searching the hashtag #RespectTheWater





World Drowning Prevention Day – Thank You for Going Blue


On 25th July for World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD), over 25 well-known landmarks and emergency service buildings lit up blue across the UK, shining a visual cascade of support for WDPD. Illuminated locations included The Kelpies in Falkirk Scotland, Liver Building in Liverpool, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow and many more. Other creative ways of going blue involved lifesavers and fundraisers from the RNLI using blue sun cream to prompt conversations on the day.

Watch the video to see some locations across the UK that went blue.





Emergency Services Day – 9th September


Emergency Services Day takes place on the 9th September every year and is also known as 999 Day.

It is a day attributed to support the heroic men and women of the NHS and emergency services and is a great opportunity to educate the public about basic lifesaving skills. 


The Emergency Services Day:


·       Promotes our 999 heroes who serve / have served.

·       Educates the public on essential life-saving skills.

·       Promotes emergency services charities and the work they do

·       Promotes campaigns being run by frontline emergency services

·       Promotes career and volunteer opportunities across the emergency services.

Did you know that approximately 2 million people work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services? Many are volunteers and without them the emergency services could not operate effectively.

We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight and show appreciation to volunteers who are an essential part of the emergency services which include; Special Constables, Retained Firefighters, NHS Community Responders, St John Ambulance, RNLI, Search and Rescue and Coastguard volunteers.

For more information on 999 Day click here.



World Suicide Prevention Day – Creating Hope through Action


September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and this years’ theme, ‘creating hope through action’ aims to help encourage and empower people to take action to further prevent suicide. The NWSF will be supporting the day on social media.

Our members help thousands of people every year – and while many of these are people who have found themselves accidentally in danger, we are, sadly, also involved with incidents involving suicide, self-harm and people in crisis.

We are incredibly proud of how professionally our members deal with challenging incidents of this nature, and continue to explore ways to better prepare, protect and support our members involved with suicide related incidents.

To find out about World Suicide Prevention Day click here.


Don’t Drink and Drown 12th - 18th September 2022


The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK) annual Don’t Drink and Drown campaign launches on 12th September, running until 18th September, aiming to get the message across about water safety as thousands of students head off to start their first semester at university.

 The campaign aims to speak to students and encourage them to, after a night out, be responsible for their friends, #beamate, and ensure they return home safely.


As fresher’s events take place across the UK in September, many students will be heading to bars and clubs to celebrate the start of their university adventure in areas they are unfamiliar with, we’ll be working with targeted universities to reach students

RLSS UK is currently building their dedicated Don’t Drink and Drown section on their website where social media assets, in English and Welsh, can be downloaded and shared to help spread the key messages, physical resources such as t-shirts, beer mats and leaflets can be purchased, and powerful real-life stories can be found.

We hope we can count on your support to share this vital messaging across the week and help us ensure that every student is able to enjoy their university experience.

A second version of the campaign coinciding with the World Cup and increased night-time economy leading into Christmas will run from 21 November to 18 December. If you would like to discuss potentially running activity in your local area email




Product alert and recalls

·       Trespass "DIVER" Men's Full Body Wetsuit (2207-0284)

·       iROCKER Blackfin Paddle Boards (Models V, X and XL) (2208-0009)



Call for stories

As the National Water Safety Forum works with a broad range of organisations and partners, we want to share the powerful work that so many organisations are doing across the board to reduce drowning fatalities. We are collating case studies and stories that truly show the positive impact our partners have across the UK. Please send in your stories to




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