Staff on Norfolk Broads offered free training to prevent drowning

Staff at pubs, bars and shops on the Norfolk Broads are being offered free training to save people from drowning.

It's part of pilot scheme run by the RNLI.

Staff will be trained to use 'throw bags'- used to pull the casualty to safety when they get into difficulty in the water.

Research shows that a significant proportion of drownings involve people visiting pubs and bars near water and then getting into distress. It could be someone taking a seemingly innocent swim and suffering cold water shock, or it could be through an accident where someone never intended to be in the water.

Ben Mitchell, Community Safety Partner for the RNLI
The scheme is part of the charity efforts towards the goal of halving the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024. Credit: ITV News Anglia

People who drowned around the Broads in the last three years.

A throw bag is essentially a 20m floating line that when packed its own bag is weighted enough to be thrown to a casualty, it can then be used to pull the casualty to safety by the person throwing the bag.

The campaign aims to encourage people to make themselves awareof the potential dangers of the water.

RNLI appeal for waterside volunteers to help save lives on Broads waterways Credit: ITV News Anglia

Some basic safety information the RNLI is urging people to remember is:

  • People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering our lungs and increases strain on your heart.

  • If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

  • If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.