With warmer weather just around the corner, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging everyone paying a visit to the county’s coastline or rivers to be water aware.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country with 223 people accidentally drowning in the UK in 2019. Almost half of these people (44%) just happened to be near water and had no intention of going into the water.

As lockdown restrictions ease, and families begin to spend more time with each other outdoors, it is expected that some of the county’s popular beaches and waterways will once again start to draw in lots of visitors.

If you are heading to the water this weekend, please follow these simple steps:

  • If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge.
  • If you are spending time near water make sure you are familiar with local safety information and children are fully supervised.
  • If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water.
  • Be aware of rip tides and currents – they can drag you out to sea and are almost impossible to swim against.
  • Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.
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