National Water Safety Forum


25 July is World #DrowningPrevention Day


anyone can drown, no one should image



What is World Drowning Prevention Day?

The day is a global opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it.  

In April 2021, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly affirmed drowning as a preventable global public health issue and declared 25 July as World Drowning Prevention Day. The full resolution can be accessed here.


Why hold a World Drowning Prevention Day? 

It is an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities around the world and offer life-saving solutions for prevention.  

Globally, an estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. 

The UK figures showed that in 2023 there was 236 accidental drownings, with more dying at inland waters than at the coast.



We can all act to end drowning. Wherever we are.



What are the key drowning statistics across the UK and communities?

  • There were 236 water-related fatalities in the UK in 2023.
  • Of the 236 drownings, 157 were in England; 47 in Scotland; 28 in Wales; and 4 in Northern Ireland.
  • Males continue to over represent, with 83% of accidental fatalities.
  • Everyday activities, such as walking and running, accounted for 48% of accidental fatalities.
  • Males aged 60-69 were the highest group for accidental fatalities.
  • 63% of accidental fatalities happened at inland waters.
  • Recreational activities accounted for 44% of accidental fatalities.

The full report can be found here (Full UK 2023 report) along with our interactive dashboard.  These show the drowning burden both nationally and at a community level.


How can I get involved? 

There are lots of things you can do: 

  • Use the day to celebrate the good work you do...many communities and water safety partnerships are holding community and multi-agency events
  • Turn a key location blue, wear something blue
  • Share the key messages within your communities, with families and local decision makers
  • Support the national messages...take a selfie with our pledge cards
  • Have a #RespectTheWater conversation at home and with loved ones
  • Share and tag your activity, photos and videos with us @NWSFweb &


You can see our UK webinar below for ideas and more detail, along with the WHO plans.

What resources are available from the NWSF?

  • Key messages and social media assets for X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook available here.
  • Make use of our pledge cards at your event - you can download them here
  • Our #RespectTheWater site has all the content and collateral for the 'Make the right call, call 999' campaign


What hashtags are you using?

Globally and UK organisations are using the following hashtags:


#DrowningPrevention Day


and please tag us on twitter: @NWSFweb



What are UK water safety and drowning prevention organisations doing to support the day? 

There are UK wide events being held by our stakeholders to support  WDPD, ranging from coffee morning chats and life-saving demos to turning iconic buildings blue.  If you would like to share your event details with use, please drop us a line at or Tweet us at @NWSFweb.


Where can I find out more?

NWSF hosted a webinar on 6 June covering the UK’s plans to support WDPD 2024. If you missed it, watch the recording here.

The slides of the webinar can be found here.

Access the WHO WDPD resource materials and campaign page here and specific 2024 materials here. Watch the recording of the WHO-led WDPD 2023 information webinar, which took place on 22 May 2023 (Passcode: HwKq3a*j)