Sunday July 25 2021.
Write it down on your calendar.
Put it in your phone.
This coming Sunday, individuals and organisations from across the globe will be marking the first ‘World Drowning Prevention Day’ and sharing the simple yet powerful message that anyone can drown, no on one should.
World Drowning Prevention Day was declared as part of UN General Assembly resolution passed in April 2021, which affirmed the fact that drowning is preventable and stresses the need for member states to have a coordinated response.
The Resolution requests all 193 Member States of the United Nations to do the following:
- Appoint a national focal point for drowning prevention
- Develop a national drowning prevention plan
- Develop drowning prevention programming in line with the WHO’s recommendations
- Ensure enactment and effective enforcement of water safety laws
- Encourage the registration of drowning deaths
- Promote drowning prevention public awareness
This global advocacy event will serve as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities all over the world and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. An estimated 235,600 people drown every year and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.
Specifically in the UK, progress has already been made in drowning prevention through work with the National Water Safety Forum, Water Safety Scotland and Water Safety Wales. The UK has a drowning prevention strategy (with devolved equivalents) which aims to reduce accidental drowning fatalities as well as contributing to the reduction of water-based suicide.
The NWSF wholeheartedly supports World Drowning Prevention Day and we will be encouraging all our members to get involved.
World Drowning Prevention Day will be held annually on July 25 and I look forward to seeing the impact that this awareness-raising initiative will have both in UK and overseas.
National Water Safety Forum
To find out more about World Drowning Prevention Day head here.