Surf Life Saving GB launch new inland water safety awareness qualification
At a time when heavy rainfall has led to flooding across the country, the launch of two brand new inland water qualifications will enable holders to gain a qualification to support activity on, in and around rivers, lakes, canals and other inland waters.
Aimed at people who spend time in, on or near water for work and pleasure, the SLSGB Inland Waters Lifeguard and SLSGB Inland Water Awareness is essential training to ensure the public’s safety in inland waters environments. The importance of the inland water safety awareness course is demonstrated by the sad fact that many people who do not intend to be in water will drown. In 2010, 34 people drowned walking or running by inland waters, with 18 drowning in rivers alone, whilst 11 people drowned engaged in commercial activities in inland waters . The SLSGB Inland Waters Safety Awareness award is open to everyone over the age of 16, and essential for environment and utilities contractors, educational group leaders and outdoor pursuits instructors, as well as people who spend time around water for leisure purposes, walking and boating, including narrowboats.The course provides essential water safety knowledge that not only includes practical action for dealing with getting into difficulty, but also fulfils Health & Safety 1974 Act, sections 2 & 3 and fulfils DEFRA National Occupation Standards. The award is SLSGB accredited and will be delivered by SLSGB accredited trainers.The qualification was launched at South Worcester Lifeguard Club at an event at Sankey Marine in Evesham on 12 May when they launched two new boats. They were also celebrating becoming the first ever individual club to be qualified to work alongside first responder emergency services during national flood emergencies in England and Wales. The team is officially named South Worcester Flood Rescue Team and will be on call 365 days of the year. They will be coordinated under the Fire & Rescue National Coordination Centre, and once deployed, will be working to save lives and render humanitarian aid where required.More information about the Inland Waters Safety Awareness qualification can be found at www.slsgb.org.uk.
 Source: Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) Water Water Accident and Incident Database (WAID) UK Water Related Fatalities 2010 (N.B.2011 data not made available until later in 2012)