Live updates

New swim safety initiative

One in five children experience near misses in open water.

In response the Amateur Swimming Association along with the RNLI are launching a safety initiative in Bournemouth for seven to fourteen year olds.

They want to show them the difference between swimming in the confines of a pool and an open water environment.

The video below is an RNLI training feature video.

Rail safety campaign aims to save lives

The Track Tests video shows how Wretch 32 and George the Poet battle to make a split second decision, relying only on their hearing to work out which direction a train is coming from as it travels towards them at 80mph in the dark.

In this instance of course, it’s not a real train. The artists stand in a warehouse where a mocked-up railway with a ‘spoke’ of tracks has been built.

Sound engineers have created a 360 degree surround-sound system to recreate the noise of an approaching train with other distracting noises.

In the test, Wretch and George each stand in the middle of the spoke and, when they are sure which direction the sound is coming from, they select a corresponding button.

Only then do they find out if they are right or wrong and if they selected in enough time.


Rail safety campaign launched

A video campaign aimed at promoting safety on rail lines has been launched by Network Rail.

UK rapper Wretch 32 and spoken word performer George the Poet have put their hearing to the test in a unique experiment as part of the campaign aimed at young men called Track Tests.

Last year 11 people lost their lives after trespassing on the railway in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire with 16-24 year old males making up four out of ten fatalities. Incidents occurred both at stations and along the railway.

A survey for Track Tests reveals that despite most agreeing it’s dangerous to trespass on the tracks, a third of people think they would hear a train in time to move out of the way.

IOW motorbike safety course

The Isle of Wight is hosting a motorcycle safety course to prevent an increase in crashes.

The Council's Better Riding course involves theory and practical training aimed at all levels of experience.

In the last three years, 76 motorcyclists have been killed or injured on the Island's roads.

The course helps motorcyclists ride defensively and prepare for hazards on the road.

A variety of techniques will be covered including advanced riding skills, overtaking, braking and filtering as well as basic first aid.

Based at Sandown Fire Station on Thursday evenings.

This course is a great opportunity for people new to riding or those in need of a refresher course to learn about the fundamentals of being safer on the road. Unfortunately, often through no fault of their own, bikers form a disproportionately high percentage of the UK's serious road traffic incidents and we feel this course - and its sister Better Driving course aimed at car drivers - is important to help make our roads safer."

– Phil Jordan, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for public protection

Warming up for Winter - get your electric blanket tested

Hampshire council is offering people the chance to get their electric blankets checked for safety.

The County Council’s Trading Standards Service has teamed up with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils to offer the free safety checks at venues across the county in October 2012.

In the last 15 years alone, almost 15,000 blankets have been tested in Hampshire with approximately 45% of these failing the safety checks.

The main problems are that many are old, worn out, have poor wiring, broken controls or offer no protection against over-heating.

Details of when and where the testing will take place can be found on Hampshire's Trading Standards website.


Conservatory built over gas flue

A Kent double glazing company has been fined for safety failiures after building a conservatory over a gas flue.

Family firm Supaglazing, of Strood, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for breaching gas safety regulations for the second time.

Dartford Magistrates Court was told that the firm’s workers built the conservatory over an existing flue for a boiler at a property on Beavor Road, Allington, Maidstone, so there was no escape route for gases and other combustion products.

A woman who was pregnant and a child were living in the home.

The incident came to light after an engineer visited the house to give an estimate for relocating the flue.

The firm, with outlets in Dartford and Sittingbourne, admitted breaching the gas safety regulations between 23 July and 2 October 2010. It was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £2,826 in costs.

Safety fears over river swimming

File picture: Public warned against river swimming Credit: PA

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service isurging people not to swim in inland waters such as rivers, canals and lakes after three people were rescued from the River Thames in Windsor during the early hours of this morning.

Jess James, Station Manager at Caversham explains:

“It’s important to be aware that while the surface of the water may feel fairly warm, the rest of it is still very cold. This can make your muscles tire out very quickly and can cause cold shock. Drinking alcohol can make things even worse.

“It’s difficult to judge the depth of the water - jumping or diving can cause serious injuries or even death.

“ Discarded shopping trolleys and rubbish such as broken glass are a real hazard, as are unseen currents and reeds, which can affect even the strongest swimmers."