We all love getting out on the water - there's no better way to get outdoors and stay fit. And for many communities in the UK and Ireland the water is a way of life. But our seas, coastlines and inland waterways can be unpredictable and dangerous places.
In 2013, 167 people died in water-related incidents around the UK coast. More than two thirds of them were men. That's more than the number killed in cycling accidents.
If you take some simple precautions you can significantly reduce your chances of getting into trouble.
Whatever your activity, whatever your ability, water is unpredictable. It's all too easy to underestimate its power. You might think that adrenaline sports and rough weather pose the greatest threat, but casual, everyday use of the coast and sea often causes fatalities. That’s why you need to be prepared in case something ever goes wrong.
Changing just one small thing can make a big difference to your safety and help you get the most out of your time on the water.
Choose your activity
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