Pirate FM News

VIDEO: The campaign to help keep kids safe on the coast

drowning sea water swimming

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:31am 17th June 2018 (Updated 9:20am 17th June 2018)

Coastguard crews across Cornwall are backing a new campaign to help keep us safe on the Duchy's coast.

Drowning Prevention Week is trying to get more children to learn how to stay safe in the water.

18 people lost their lives across the south-west last year, down from 33 the year before.

Although worryingly, the RNLI says more than half did not expect to end up in the water.

Officials say that over 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences.

Cornish lifeguard and RNLI Community Safety Partner, Steve Instance, says seven people found the 'float to live' advice helped save their life.

He said: "Losing someone to drowning is a shattering experience, so I am very pleased several people said the RNLI's Respect the Water 'float' advice helped them survive in a dangerous situation in the water last year.

"I'm also encouraged by the 2017 south west coastal fatality figure as it is lower than in previous years.

"We are hopeful that our safety campaigning and education work has contributed to a reduction in coastal deaths, but we cannot get complacent.

"It's vital we all keep sharing lifesaving advice to ensure last year's reduction becomes part of a long term downward trend in coastal fatalities. One drowning, is one too many".

"Worryingly, all of the deaths at the south west coast in 2017 were men, with many of them ending up in the water unexpectedly. It clearly highlights much more must be done to help men keep themselves safe around the coast".

What is cold water shock?

Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement, so the risk is significant most of the year.

Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. Rivers such as the Thames are colder - even in the summer.

Cold water shock causes the blood vessels in the skin to close, which increases the resistance of blood flow. Heart rate is also increased. As a result the heart has to work harder and your blood pressure goes up. Cold water shock can therefore cause heart attacks, even in the relatively young and healthy.

The sudden cooling of the skin by cold water also causes an involuntary gasp for breath. Breathing rates can change uncontrollably, sometimes increasing as much as tenfold. All these responses contribute to a feeling of panic, increasing the chance of inhaling water directly into the lungs.

This can all happen very quickly: it only takes half a pint of sea water to enter the lungs for a fully grown man to start drowning. You could die if you don't get medical care immediately.

What should I do if I end up in the water?

The RNLI has released a new 'Float to Live' advice video, ahead of the big summer getaway.

These five things could save your life...

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Cocaine haul worth £200m seized from sailing yacht off coast of Cornwall

National News: A major haul of cocaine - understood to be worth more than £200m - has been seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Cornwall.

VIDEO: Cornwall braced for 'Frantic Friday' jams

Cornwall News: This is when and where traffic is set to be busiest

Trending in Cornwall

The drug swoop on a busy Cornish harbour

Two men arrested as the bomb squad was brought in

WATCH: Five more men jailed over Truro armed robbery

A gang carried out a £1 million heist at a jewellers

UPDATE: Search for girl missing in Cornwall

Amelie Harris-Lovett has been found in Penzance

VIDEO: Cornwall braced for 'Frantic Friday' jams

This is when and where traffic is set to be busiest

Elderly woman fighting for life after Par assault

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

How these men masterminded that armed robbery in Truro

Two from Lithuania are beginning long sentences

WATCH: Scale of damage after fire near Padstow

The combine harvester blaze spread to fields

Two men who planned Truro armed robbery jailed

Jewellery stolen in Michael Spiers heist worth £1 million

Huge fire sweeps across fields near Padstow

Crews across north Cornwall rushed to the scene

Off-duty lifeguards save swimmers at Porth beach

Five were spotted in the river as crews were knocking off

More news...

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall