National Water Safety Forum


NWSF Newsletter - July 2022


Message from the Chair

July is upon us and with it comes warmer weather, the end of exams for some, schools breaking up and the holiday season is fully underway.

Because of the aforementioned all occurring simultaneously, July has also consistently been a peak month for water rescues and fatalities in the UK, so it is imperative we do all we can, collectively and collaboratively, to reduce these incidents.

The newsletter is a special edition – focusing on two main ways to address the above issue. Firstly, July 25th is the second-ever World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD). Click here to find out more about the day and ways in which you can join in. Secondly, the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) will be launching our ‘Respect The Water’ campaign for WDPD, which includes key messages and materials for everyone to use and share.

World Drowning Prevention Day is really a call to action, and if all our members did just one thing or supported the NWSF Respect The Water campaign it would be phenomenal and raise the profile of this important community safety issue.

Other ideas you may want to explore within your local areas:

I have issued a challenge to my organisation: to paint a pebble in honour of World Drowning Prevention Day and then place it at a waterside location; the only stipulation is to use #RespectTheWater on it. It will be great if we can get schools and local clubs engaged to spread the message to younger people.

I am also aware that many places will be seeking to go blue for WDPD. Whether it involves making a local landmark turn blue, dying your hair, using blue zinc suncream or even wearing a blue morph suit, we look forward to seeing your pictures on social media, so please share!

Finally, I wish you all a safe and happy summer, and that you all get a chance to relax and enjoy a holiday or getaway with your family or friends.

Until next time

Dawn Whittaker

Chair of NWSF


Respect The Water Campaign Brief

The UK’s National Water Safety Forum is coming together to launch its first ever campaign, Respect The Water, in response the World Health Organisation (WHO) call to ‘do one thing’ to prevent drowning ahead of the second ever United Nations (UN) World Drowning Prevention Day on Monday 25th July

The campaign sees over 50 UK organisations uniting for the first time to raise public awareness of what to do if you see someone struggling in the water during the summer, covering both inland and coastal areas. The key messages will be;

  • Call 999 Fire & rescue for inland waters or coastguard at the coast.
  • Tell the person to float on their back
  • Throw them something that floats

As part of this lifesaving campaign we are releasing a new & impactful water safety advert which will be shown on ITV on World Drowning Prevention Day, together with targeted advertising in high drowning areas using catch up TV, outdoor posters and social media. There will also be a significant PR push to secure media coverage during the campaign to amplify these important message to the public at the height of summer.  


How to get involved in the campaign

  • Support the campaign and key messages which will be available on a new website soon.
  • Come along to our live briefing webinar on July 18th at 1pm. (To join please click here).


What else is happening across the UK for World Drowning Prevention day?

Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel, Renfrew Town Hall, Royal Hospital for Children and the QUEH (Glasgow), Ness Bridge, Millennium Bridge (Tyne & Wear) will be hopefully lighting up blue!

If you know of any local landmarks turning blue or any local events – please let us know via


Water Safety Scotland are hosting a national water safety open day for the public at the Helix,  Falkirk.

The open day will offer opportunities for the public to watch SFRS and Police rescue capabilities, as well as Newfoundland rescue dogs in action and other demonstrations.

A fun family-friendly programme of activities is also included.

More information is available here.


Water Safety Wales member organisations have a number of different activities planned for WDPD, including Blue Zinc sun cream for RNLI lifeguards as a talking point on beaches.

As a collective, the main focus is on a media and PR day at Llandegfed Reservoir, a Dwr Cymru Welsh Water site as well as support to the Respect The Water campaign via out of home advertising in high risk areas in in Pembrokeshire,  Gwynedd (TBC) and Conwy.


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