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RoSPA: Drowning Prevention Strategy a 'cause for optimism'

The number of accidental drownings in the UK fell by 15 per cent last year.

Figures from the National Water Safety Forum's Water Incident Database – which charts all drowning deaths, excluding crime and suicides – show that there were 255 drownings in 2017, down from 300 in 2016.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the latest statistics show that the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy – launched two years ago – "appears to be working".

“We are cautiously optimistic about the figures for 2017 and the general downward trend in drowning over the past few years," said Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive.

“What this information doesn’t show is the considerable partnership working within the National Water Safety Forum and in communities up and down the country; from helping children to learn to swim, to building water safety communities, and raising awareness of key risks without stopping people enjoying the water.

“We are still in the early phases of the UK's strategy. These figures give us encouragement and we hope that we can continue to address the burden of drowning.”

Formed in 2005, the National Water Safety Forum is an association of organisations tasked with providing a “one-stop-shop” for authoritative water safety information and advice.

Members include a number of leisure and sports organisations – such as British Swimming – and the NWSF runs the Water Sports Safety Advisory Group.

To find out more about the Water Incident Database and the statistics within it click here.

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