Figures from the National Fire Chiefs Council indicate 50 per cent of the 254 accidental drownings in 2020 involved people who were not intending to enter the water, with 71 per cent of those deaths occurring at inland watercourses, such as reservoirs, rivers and lakes. Almost 80 per cent of the deaths were men.
To promote safety around open water, Yorkshire Water runs an education programme for schools in the region.
The sessions teach children the ‘Float to Live’ technique, explains how children can keep themselves, family and friends safe around water and what to do in an emergency.
The utility company has teamed up with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to offer a series of virtual Water Safety live presentations aimed at Key Stage 3 and 4 students on May 26.
Ash Roberts, public safety and safeguarding manager, said: “People entering our reservoirs continues to be a daily occurrence, whether that be those intending to swim or people deciding the water looks inviting.
“As the weather improves, we see more people getting into the water who had never intended to do so when they arrived.
“It is vital people visiting our reservoirs this weekend don’t risk their safety by entering the water. The water in the reservoirs can cause cold water shock and reservoirs are a part of the clean water network delivering water to homes, which means there is equipment under the water that also poses a risk to people entering it.”