Last week’s Maritime Safety Week reminded us to be alert, stay safe and be mindful of others when returning to the water this summer.

With lockdown restrictions easing and more people than ever holidaying in the UK this year, keeping the public safe on our coast, lakes and waterways is paramount. Public safety and drowning prevention was a key focus for the week.

First launched in 2018, Maritime Safety Week takes place every July, highlighting the excellent work of the UK maritime sector to keep people safe on and around the water. By sharing best practice and driving continuous improvement, we can reinforce the UK’s position as a leader in maritime safety.

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said:

The UK has always been at the forefront of international maritime safety and, with more people than ever expected to be visiting our coastline and waterways this summer, it’s important that everyone knows how to stay safe.

For our community of divers and snorkellers…

  • BSAC would like to remind its members that we can play some part in aiding the safety of others by remaining attentive to any potential signs of distress or difficulty from others on or near water and provide assistance where necessary.
  • It is also important to remember and be aware of the potential for encountering immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO) and to look out for signs, symptoms and other indications in either yourself or your buddy whilst diving and be prepared to act quickly to leave the water safely – read BSAC's IPO guidance.

As part of last week’s events, BSAC CEO, Mary Tetley, was invited to participate in a virtual drowning prevention roundtable on Tuesday 6 July. Hosted by Robert Courts MP, Maritime Minister, the meeting considered the implications of the UN Resolution on Drowning Prevention and the work of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), which BSAC actively participates in.

Of the event, Mary said:

Tragically, drowning cost the world over 2.5 million lives in the last decade. And the vast majority of these deaths could and should have been prevented. As a water-based organisation and community we need to recognise the preventability of drowning, and the positive, practical actions that all of us can take to keep ourselves, our friends, family and fellow citizens safe.

Remember, when returning to diving and snorkelling, ensure:

  • You and your equipment are fit and ready
  • You practice/refresh your skills in controlled conditions
  • You start slowly and build up progressively

Guidance to prepare for a return to diving

Preparation for a return to diving and snorkelling

It is a common part of diving and snorkelling in the UK that we promote the need to get ready for an approaching diving season. Whether you have been out of the water for the winter or for a few years, this section will help you prepare to get back out there.

Find out more

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