Press release

Water safety message delivered to pupils

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has delivered vital water safety advice to more than 1,000 secondary school pupils.

Ullswater Community College

During Child Safety Week, the crew from Penrith delivered four assemblies at Ullswater Community College, in which pupils from Years 7 to 10 were reminded of the dangers that being on or around the water can bring, including the impact of cold water shock, and how to act if they or someone they are with gets into difficulty.

One of the key messages was the importance of the ‘Float to Live’ technique, in which the person in difficulty in the water should lie on their back with their head tilted back and arms outstretched to help control their breathing and stay afloat.

The session was attended by Cumbria Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner David Allen.

Mr Allen said: “In support of national Child Safety Week, Firefighters from Penrith’s Gold and Black Watches delivered some really hard-hitting and thought-provoking presentations on water safety this week.

“Sadly, accidents and fatalities do occur in Cumbria’s lakes and rivers. When asked, the majority of pupils said they had put themselves at risk when in and around water at some point. 

“As summer approaches and the weather warms up, many young people will visit our lakes and rivers. This is why it is essential to highlight the safety messages around cold water shock and the dangers associated with water and how to deal with the threats.”

Stephen Gilby, Headteacher at Ullswater Community College, added: “Having grown up on the coast, water safety is a topic that is very close to my heart. The students, staff, parents and I are incredibly grateful for the important message shared with over 1,000 of our students by the team from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.  

“The students have taken a lot from the session, most importantly the serious message of keeping themselves and others safe. The assembly forms part of the work we do with the whole of the Ullswater community to support our ‘caring’ value and ensure all are well educated in these important areas - stay safe!”

For more information on water safety, visit