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RNLI gather partners together for the first Severn Estuary Water Safety meeting

Lifeboats News Release

Organisations responsible for lifesaving provision in the Severn Estuary gathered in Bristol on Saturday 24 June to share expertise and knowledge, with the purpose of working collaboratively to increase water safety in the area


Stakeholders gathered at the Severn Estuary Water Safety event on 24 June 2017

Statistics show that incidents in the Severn Estuary are increasing*; there is an average of 14** fatalities each year and with several developments in the planning for the area, the water way is expected to get busier.

The Community Water Safety Assessment – Severn Estuary meeting, led by the RNLI was held at the Double Tree by Hilton and was attended by key partners from four RNLI lifeboat stations; Penarth, Portishead, Weston super Mare and Burnham on Sea, as well as representatives from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, National Coast Watch, Tidal Lagoon Power, North Somerset Council, Royal Lifesaving Society, Severn Area Rescue Association, HM Coastguard MCA, and Greenstreet Berman.

Andrew Wood, Regional Operations Policy Manager at the RNLI said;

‘Although we know there is plenty of work going on within the Severn Estuary, including some fantastic groups who are joining forces to tackle specific risks, this is the first time the RNLI have hosted a meeting to gather all the relevant stakeholders.

The day was an opportunity to bring together all those responsible for safety in and around the Severn Estuary in order to understand what are the major risks and type of incidents being dealt with, and how we can work in partnership to ultimately save more lives.

It was great to see so many interested parties coming together with a common goal. What is really important now that we take forward the action points from the meeting and make some progress towards increasing safety in the Severn Estuary. We aim to work collaboratively towards the National Water Safety Forum strategy to reduce accidental drowning fatalities in the UK by 50% by 2026, and reduce risk amongst the highest risk populations, groups and communities and this initial meeting went some way to laying out an action plan to take this forward.’

Note to Editors

  • Please find attached image of the stakeholders gathered at the Severn Estuary Water Safety event on 24 June 2017 credit RNLI
  • * Statistics from RNLI return of service data between 2008-2016

  • * *Coastal fatality data taken from the National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID) 2010–2016.

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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