RNLI and Merseyside Fire & Rescue offer life-saving training in Liverpool

Lifeboats News Release

With the number of revellers in the city likely to rise over the Christmas period, steps are being taken to help prevent people drowning on Albert Dock and surrounding waterways.

RNLI

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner, Simone Riley, Operations Manager for Albert Dock Management Group CBRE, and Steve Pang from Merseyside Fire & Rescue.

To coincide with the RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, RNLI community safety experts and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will carry out vital training to door staff, waterside workers and other agencies with an interest in water safety, to ensure they are aware of the risks around water and are equipped to help people who get into difficulty in the water.

Representatives from pubs, restaurants and other relevant agencies will be trained on the dangers that cold water poses and provide them with the knowledge and equipment to help rescue people safely.

They will learn how to use a throw bag and what to do when people get into distress in or near the water. The potentially life-saving throw bags - a 20m floating line used to pull a casualty to safety - can be supplied to venues at key locations across the region.

The training is part of the Community Responder Scheme to help prevent people drowning around rivers and waterways.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said:

‘Research found that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. We know that this is a risk to people in the region, suffering from cold water shock when they didn’t intend to be in the water. This training scheme aims to raise awareness of these dangers and ultimately help save a life. We encourage venues to sign up and make sure their customers are in safe hands as they’re enjoying their down time in pubs and restaurants this Christmas.'

Steve Pang, Station Manager, Road and Water Safety, for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said:

‘Sadly the festive season can see a rise in water-related incidents, including fatalities. We are aiming to prevent as many of these as possible by educating and equipping people who work in water-side establishments in water rescue, so they can help save lives year round.

‘This work will be reinforced by the coming together of a number of Merseyside agencies to form the Merseyside Water Safety Forum – a body which will meet regularly to tackle the issue on an ongoing basis. If any member of the public sees somebody struggling in the water, we advise them to call 999.’

The initiative supports the RNLI’s annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of the water and take steps to minimise the risk of being in or near water. The RNLI is urging people to remember this basic safety information:

· People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.

· If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

· If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast, ask for the coastguard. If you are inland by a river or waterway, ask for the police.

The initiative coincides with the RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, which warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

It also comes soon after the first visit of a newly formed Merseyside Water Safety Forum, which brings organisations with an interest in water safety together with the shared goal of reducing drowning across Merseyside.

Ends

Media Opportunity: The media are invited to Albert Dock as the RNLI and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service deliver lifesaving training in time for the Christmas party season. Media to meet at The Amphitheatre outside the Museum of Liverpool, at the northern end of Albert Dock.

Date: 7 December 2018.

Time: 10am and 1.30pm.

Please find attached a j-peg images of L-R: Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner, Simone Riley, Operations Manager for Albert Dock Management Group CBRE, and Steve Pang from Merseyside Fire & Rescue.

Media Contacts

For further information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager on 07786 668829/Danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk, or media wishing to register their intention to attend on the day, please contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Media Officer on 01745 585162 or eleri_roberts@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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