Families from across Kent and East Sussex flocked to Bewl Water in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday (16 June), to enjoy the first ever Water Savvy Fun Day and learn vital skills that could one day help to save a life.
Organised by Kent Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the event during RLSS Drowning Prevention Week was all about raising awareness of water safety - how to stay safe and what to do if you ever find yourself or someone else in trouble in water.
Around 1,500 people came along to watch water rescue demonstrations, climb aboard fire engines and rescue boats, meet firefighters and search dogs, learn how to use a throw line, and pick up important CPR skills.
CPR lessons at the Water Savvy Fun Day
KFRS water safety unit at the Water Savvy Fun Day
The two fire services were supported on the day by water safety partners – the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR) – all of which strive to drive down the number of water related injuries and deaths.
KFRS Area Manager Colin King said: “The Water Savvy Fun Day was a great success. It was the first of its kind and we were really pleased to work with our friends at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to deliver the event.
“The day was all about raising awareness about water safety and through displays on land and on the water, talks, games and hands on throw line and CPR training, we really hope people came away from the day having had fun and learned how to keep themselves and their families safe in and around water. Because after all, while our crews are always ready to jump into action, we hope the public will never need us.
“We’d like to thank everyone who supported the event, especially our firefighters who demonstrated their water rescue skills, and our water safety partners - RNLI, RLSS and KSAR. Thanks also goes to the Splashpals Newfoundland Dogs who put on a fantastic display, and Bewl Water which was a fantastic venue for the event.”
Statistics from the RLSS highlight that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in children in the UK, and every year more than 700 people drown across the UK and Ireland – that’s equivalent to one person drowning every 20 hours.
Throw line training at the Water Savvy Fun Day