Last week, I met with the national water safety charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and Paralympian swimmer Ellie Robinson MBE to discuss drowning prevention and life saving measures.
I was shown cutting-edge drone life-saving equipment, as I raised the case of constituent Lucas Dobson, who died in August 2019 after falling into the River Stour. I have been backing a water safety campaign led by Lucas’s mother Kirsty, grandmother Donna and cousin Zoe in their calls for the new law. Lucas’s Law would make it compulsory for young children to wear lifejackets on boats, require more life-saving buoyancy rings to be installed near rivers, lakes and seas, and start a safety awareness campaign for parents of young children to use float suits and swim vests when children are playing near water. I have raised the law in Parliament, calling for stronger water regulations so more lives can be saved.
Over 400 people die every year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning. Of those who drown, some 40% had no intention of entering the water in the first place.
The summer months of June, July and August see the most drowning fatalities. It is vital that everyone can enjoy their summer break and enjoy being in or around water being safe in the knowledge that they, and their children, have the skills and understanding about water safety, which could potentially save a life.
I continue to support the Lucas’s law water safety campaign and raise water safety awareness, in order to save young lives. There is an excellent water safety education video prepared by the life saving charity on my website which I encourage people to view and share. Find the video here RLSS UK: Drowning Prevention Animation – Natalie Elphicke