Derby Active’s swimming teachers are supporting Drowning Prevention Week from 12 to 19 June, to help ensure families know how to keep themselves and others water-safe during and after lockdown.

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we now know that the usual level of service provided by rescue and lifeguard services are not going to be possible in 2020. Personal water safety is more important than ever before, to save lives.

And the UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk.

The charity launched the campaign seven years ago as a way of focusing the UK’s attention on the importance of water safety, during one focal week of activities. A wide range of free, downloadable resources have been produced which will be made available through the Derby Active website, along with information from the Learn to Swim team.

Derby Active believes it’s important that every child and adult knows how to swim, in order to stay safe around water. This is why Derby Active run the Learn to Swim programme, available for people of all ages and abilities. Learn to Swim provides the opportunity for every individual to learn and achieve their own personal goals at their own pace. Learn to Swim follows the Swim England programme for all lessons, designed to ensure swimmers learn all the skills they need to be confident, competent and safe in the water.

The Learn to Swim team are working hard behind the scenes, recruiting new teachers and getting ready for resuming lessons when pools are able to re-open. If you are interested in swimming lessons, the team would love to hear from you and you can register your interest at InDerby Learn to Swim website

RLSS UK hopes that through the campaign, the UK and Ireland will see a reduction in the statistics that see approximately 700 people losing their lives to drowning every year – that’s one every 12 hours. Many more suffer injury, sometimes life-changing, following a water-related incident.

Derby Active, a member of the Royal Life Saving Society UK, is proud to play its part in trying to reduce this figure, and ensuring there isn’t a rise in fatalities because of the current situation. Derby Active will be releasing material direct from our Learn to Swim Team as well as promoting RLSS resources to support Drowning Prevention Week.

Ben Hannan from Derby Active said:

“It is so important to remind people to stay safe and take personal responsibility near water, especially during these unprecedented times. We are only too happy to be involved with Drowning Prevention Week.

“Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning in the UK, than you are from being hit by a car or in a domestic fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the resources available and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills.”

RLSS UK CEO, Robert Gofton said:

“This year’s campaigns will focus on encouraging everybody to take personal responsibility near water, especially in light of the current challenges facing our emergency and rescue services. Venues and rescue services are doing everything they can to provide a service this summer, but the harsh reality is that in the current climate, despite a big effort, the usual level of service just isn’t feasible.

“Accidental drowning incidents are largely avoidable if the correct choices are made, coupled with the skills and knowledge for personal survival and bystander rescue. These skills are easy to learn and free to access. We are urging individuals and families to take care, take responsibility and learn what to do in an emergency.

“We thank Derby Active for getting involved with the campaign, and for helping people learn the skills they need to enjoy water safely”.