In my last article in this bulletin I mentioned that the Bookham branch of the R.N.L.I. had given water safety talks to over 18,000 children in 2015. The major part of our talks is our SAFE message
S. Spot the dangers – Children are shown posters with pictures of potential dangers
A. Always go with a friend or an adult – We tell them of the dangers of being alone near rivers, canals, ponds, the seaside etc
F. Find and read our safety signs and flags – We show examples of the signs we use on beaches, rivers, lakes and other waters and explain our beach flag system
E. Emergency ? Stick up your hand and shout – We tell them how to get help (phone 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard) and what to do if you are in water and need help
It will soon be time for our young ones to be heading for the seaside so an important question is do our talks have any effect? Recently an 8 year old Cub Scout told me what I had talked about when I visited her troop 1 year ago. She had remembered all the important parts of my talk. This is not unusual we regularly meet children at events who will surprise their parents with their knowledge.
There is another body who are very interested in promoting water safety and that is Surrey Fire & Rescue Service. Our friends at Leatherhead Fire Station informed us that more people in Surrey die of drowning than in fires. This year we will again be at their open day joining them in helping to keep our children safe I hope to see you there.
Richard Bywaters, Branch Chairman 07952 221289 – firstname.lastname@example.org