Drowning prevention event at Alton Water almost one year after young man’s death

Students Hannah Davies in a swimsuit, Casey Emblem in jeans from UCS Ipswich take part in a water re

Students Hannah Davies in a swimsuit, Casey Emblem in jeans from UCS Ipswich take part in a water rescue scenario by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service at Alton Water, highlighting the dangers of cold water.

Brave students from University Campus Suffolk were shown what it would be like if they fell unprepared in open water as part of a safety campaign.

Students from UCS Ipswich listen to Paul Young of Princes Street fire station at Alton Water before

Students from UCS Ipswich listen to Paul Young of Princes Street fire station at Alton Water before they take part in a water rescue scenario.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service teamed up with Anglian Water to run a number of activities to mark the Chief Fire Officers Association’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week from April 25 to May 1.

The session took place at Alton Water and was organised under the supervision of the water rescue team based at Princes Street fire station, but gave the students a real taste of the perils of jumping in or swimming in open water unsupervised.

Mark Hardingham, Suffolk’s chief fire officer, said: “I want to reduce the number of water-related 999 emergencies that Suffolk’s firefighters attend. They are usually unaware of the risks and totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water.”

The campaign was particularly aimed at young adults in a bid to reduce the number of water-related fatalities of people aged 16-29.

It comes almost a year after the tragic death of 22-year-old Matthew Dunnett from Ipswich, whose body was pulled out of the reservoir at Alton Water by firefighters.

Anglian Water’s Sarah Dobson said: “Alton Water is a fantastic place for people to enjoy, and draws visitors from all over Suffolk and beyond the county border. However, one family was devastated by the loss of a young man from Suffolk last year, and we want to do everything in our power to prevent it happening again.

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“We want people to stay safe at Alton Water, and everywhere else in the region too – whether walking the dog by a river, going for a run round a lake, or relaxing on the edge of our reservoir.”

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