‘The Beast From The East’
You will have all, either witnessed first hand, read and or watched the effects of the very challenging weather we experienced throughout the UK, aka ‘the Beast From The East’ and Storm Emma. No doubt you may have read or heard about some of the water related incidents, rescues and the terrible drownings that this weather has led to. One of the very sad incidents, was that of Charlie Pope, a 19 year-old Manchester University student who went missing in the early hours of the morning. His body was tragically found in the Rochdale Canal days later. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to Charlie’s family, friends and his fellow University students. An incident in Welling, Kent involved a 60 year old man who had fallen into the freezing lake. Three bodies were also pulled from the River Clyde in less than 24 hours according to Glasgow’s Evening Times.
Have a look at the widely acclaimed Professor Mike Tipton’s (Portsmouth University) work he carried out for the RNLI on cold water shock. If highly trained Special Forces and Olympic athletes are struggling in extreme water temperatures, then everyone else is also going to struggle too. Take a look at the video below, it may give you food for throught:
Cold Water Shock and Swimming failure
There are a few points to bring out with regards some of these incidents :
1) That the water whether you are at the coast, canal, river or pond is especially freezing at this time of the year. It has been found that around half of those that drown did not intend to end up in the water. A slip, trip or fall could be fatal.
2) If a person, a dog or other animal does fall into the water or through ice then don’t be tempted to self-rescue, call the emergency services ‘999’ (Fire Service if inland or UK Coastguard at the coast) and get the guys and girls with the specialist kit to carry out the rescue;
3) If you go out for a few cheeky beers with your mates, by all means have a fantastic time, please don’t take that short-cut home, alone near to canals, rivers, coastal areas or ponds! Watch out for your mates, have a plan and make sure that they get home safe and sound. Follow the Royal Lifesaving Society Advice ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’.
Please share as much as possible the advice and video’s in this blog. If you can please sign Becky Ramsey’s on-line petition, it takes just two minutes to enter your name, postcode etc.
Some useful links:
‘Home and Dry’ No More River Deaths – Initiative to stop accident river deaths in the West Mercia police area.
Water safety and drowning prevention petition by Becky Ramsey
Be Water Aware – hardhitting YouTube video showing a ‘real life’ river rescue in Leeds
Ant Middleton (the star of ‘Who Dares Wins’) supports the RNLI with its Respect the Water campaign and demonstrates how to survive it cold water shock!