The sea in Blackpool can be very inviting

However  warm sunny days can also be very misleading with temperatures still very cold at around 10 ºC and seldom reaching 17 ºC on a hot summer’s day. Our normal body temperature at 37 ºC.

From being washed out to sea, pulled under by a strong current or simply misjudging the conditions when they are dangerous, it’s really important to understand that:

  • There are many reasons why people get into difficulty
  • Between 400 - 600 people a year drowned in the UK with 20% of this figure around the coast

The reasons why people drown can usually be accounted for through one of the following factors

  • Uninformed or unrestricted access to the water hazard 
  • Ignorance, disregard or misjudgement of danger
  • Lack of supervision
  • Inability of the casualty to cope (or to be rescued) once in difficulty

A number of control measures increasing in the level of control range from:

  • Safety leaflets
  • Public education
  • Information signs
  • Warning signs
  • Prohibition signs
  • Physical barriers
  • Public rescue equipment
  • Advanced lifesaving equipment
  • Trained surveillance
  • First aid facility
  • Qualified beach lifeguards (with appropriate equipment)

Being unable to cope once in difficulty can often result in involuntary submersion. Even good swimmers can find their ability severely impaired in cold and fast moving water. Under water obstructions can significantly affect someone’s ability to cope in open water.

Remedial measures include:

  • Education and information
  • Denial of access and/ or provision of warnings/information
  • Acquisition of rescue and survival skills
  • Supervision and provision of rescue equipment

Together these measures constitute a drowning prevention strategy to help control the risk

We've also put together a guide to beach safety which you may find useful