Fire service reminds of the dangers of water as outdoor hospitality reopens

GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is reminding people of the dangers that come with spending time around local waterways.

The plea to ‘take care and stay safe’ comes as people begin to socialise and drink alcohol in venues across the city-region in line with the Government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions from Monday, April 12, 2021.

GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, Area Manager Paul Duggan, said: “We want to keep everyone safe as restrictions are eased and people start to safely return to local pubs or bars for a drink with friends.

“Where possible we ask that you stay away from open water, but if you do plan to visit outdoor spaces that are close to water please take care and stay safe, ensuring you and your family and friends look out for each other.

“Our advice would be to plan your journey home at the start of the night and make sure you don’t walk home alone or alongside the water after drinking alcohol.

“Also, as the warmer months arrive, we remind people not to be tempted to cool off by jumping in water. Cold Water Shock can kill even the strongest of swimmers, you never know what’s lurking beneath the surface, and under-water currents can be deadly.”

From April 12 you can meet in groups of up to six people, or two households, at outdoor hospitality venues, as non-essential retail and other services and attractions start to re-open.

To keep everyone safe you are reminded to keep two metres apart from those not from your household or support bubble, and regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Coronavirus finds it much more difficult to spread outdoors compared to indoors, so this is the safest place to meet.

For more information and water safety advice go to the water safety section of our website.

From April 26 to May 2 the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC) will run its annual Be Water Aware campaign which is supported by fire and rescue services all over the UK.

During the week, messages will be shared on GMFRS’ social media channels urging people to take extra care around their local waterways so please keep a look out and share. You will be able to follow social media activity during the week using #BeWaterAware.

In 2015, the Manchester Water Safety Partnership was formed in response to several deaths in central Manchester waterways. The group is made up of representatives from GMFRS, Canal and River Trust, CityCo, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police, Bridgewater Canal Company, Salford City Council, and the Royal Life Saving Society UK, working together to help make Manchester’s waterways safer, with a key focus on the city centre.

12/04/2021 08:52 AM