News release text
Tonbridge based firefighters, specialising in water rescues, will be attending the dragon boat race in Tonbridge on 23 June to help raise awareness of water safety before the schools break up for summer.
Firefighters will be based on the bridge in the High Street from 2pm until 4pm and are inviting members of the public to find out, not only how dangerous open waterways can be but also how to help prevent getting into difficulty in the first place.
To provide a reassuring presence, a Kent Fire and Rescue Service boat will also be launched on the River Medway prior to the race commencing.
Tonbridge Crew Manager, Mick Stearn, said: “With the summer holidays just around the corner this is an ideal time to talk with parents and children regarding the importance of staying safe on and around open waterways. I would encourage anyone attending the event to come along and hear the advice being given; it literally could save your life.”
This weekend also sees the start of Drowning Prevention Week (22-30 June) which encourages schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities to create new and exciting ways to show people how they can have fun and stay safe around water.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service will be attending East Peckham primary school to help pupils understand the dangers associated with open water. Once taught, the children will then be able to put what they had learned into practice by using throw lines and shouting for help.
KFRS has five specialist Water Safety Units in the county which carry mud/ice rescue paths, throw lines and life jackets. Crews are trained to the highest level including carrying out rescues from fast flowing water. Across the county, 29 fire engines carry additional water-safety equipment.
Follow these tips to help keep your family safe around water:
Don’t jump or dive in as the water can be far deeper then it looks – with unseen hazards.
Never swim near weirs or locks as there are unusually dangerous currents.
Inland waters can be very cold, no mater how warm the weather. Be aware that this can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties.
Swimming in unclean water can cause illness
For more safety tips please visit http://www.safersummer.info/
Note to Editors
Pictures of our crews carrying out water safety training can are available on request.