National Water Safety Forum

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Drowning Prevention Strategy

Our Vision

‘Water Safety Wales is committed to reducing drowning deaths and keeping our communities safe around water.
We have an aspiration of zero water-related deaths.’

Wales’ first ever drowning prevention strategy was launched by First Minister Mark Drakeford in December 2020.


Statistics from the Water Incident Database (WAID) show there an average of 45 water related fatalities in Wales every year and the rate of accidental drowning in Wales is almost double that of the UK as a whole. There are also 1755 water incidents per year that require emergency response – approximately five every day.
Wales’ Drowning Prevention Strategy 2020-2026 has been drawn up by the Water Safety Wales group, a collaboration of individuals, communities, charities and public and private sector organisations with an interest in water safety and drowning prevention. It aims to reduce water related deaths and incidents in Wales by promoting the importance of a consistent and effective approach to water safety.


We believe one death is too many and that we will reduce drowning if everyone plays their part. Our aspiration is zero water related deaths in Wales and this strategy aims to enable people living and visiting Wales to be safer in, on and around water by reducing water related deaths and incidents.

It has seven key aims:
• Improve water incident data and intelligence in Wales
• Promote and develop learning to swim and water safety education
• Promote and support the development of water safety plans
• Promote public awareness of water-related risks and ensure consistent messages reach the right people at the right time
• Promote the safe participation in water activities across Wales
• Contribute to the reduction of water-related suicide
• Work with families affected by water-related incidents

Strategy PDF Download - English English Download

Strategy PDF Download - Welsh Welsh Download