Press release

New water safety partnership launched

A new partnership has been formed to help improve safety on Cumbria’s waters.

Cumbria Water Safety Forum

The Cumbria Water Safety Forum, led by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, brings together a host of organisations to devise and deliver actions and campaigns to reduce the number of those who are killed or seriously injured on and around the water.

Partners involved in the Forum include Cumbria Constabulary, Cumberland Council, Westmorland and Furness Council, North West Ambulance Service, WaterWise Cumbria, Water Safety Matters, National Trust, Royal Life Saving Society, Lake District National Park Authority, United Utilities, RNLI, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, and HM Coastguard.

The inaugural meeting involved setting out the Forum’s terms of reference, planned actions and strategies and how they will be monitored.

The objectives are to collate and review water-related incident data, identify highest risk areas to deliver water safety prevention activities, and to utilise media to deliver safety messages to Cumbria’s residents and visitors.

The Forum was launched by Rick Ogden, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, and Mike Johnson, Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

CFO Ogden said: “Understanding the complexities of water, safety and the number of different agencies involved is unique to Cumbria; from rescues, to flooding, to educating our residents and visitors.

“From a strategic level to the tactical operations of a live rescue incident, there is real value in the joined-up approach that this group can bring.”

Mr Johnson said: “Cumbria draws in millions of tourists every year to enjoy our lakes and we want to ensure that everyone - tourists and residents - can enjoy the county’s lakes, rivers and coastline safely.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how partners work together to increase water safety across the county and how the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner can help assist with this goal.”