Take extra care if exercising around water

Drowning Prevention Week 2020 will see Manchester Water Safety Partnership focus on helping people stay safe around water in line with the Government’s guidance and restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The dedicated week of action runs from April 20 to April 26 this year and is led by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC) and supported by fire and rescue services all over the UK, including Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

During the week messages will be shared on GMFRS’ social media channels, as well as those of partners, urging people to take extra care around their local waterways while exercising.

Area Manager Paul Fearnhead from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We want to keep everyone safe during lockdown while adhering to Government guidance, which includes practising social distancing and exercising locally once a day.

“Where possible we ask that you stay away from open water, but if you do find yourself near water while exercising then please take extra care and be mindful that there are less people around at the moment to raise the alarm if you find yourself in difficulty.

“We ask if possible that you let someone know where you are going to exercise and when you are coming back and always abide by any signage you see. Also, be sure to look out for hazards around water, stick to proper paths and bear in mind social distancing ahead of venturing out to exercise – often paths along canals and rivers are narrow.

“We also want to remind dog owners never to enter the water if their dog jumps or falls in. Most dogs manage to scramble out but some owners are not so lucky.”

Read more water safety advice from GMFRS.

Follow social media activity during the week using the hashtag #BeWaterAware

The Royal Life Saving Society give suggestions for fun activities to help keep your children entertained at home, while also teaching them about water safety.

The Canal and River Trust also have a selection of fun games for children to enjoy at home.