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Going Blue for World Drowning Prevention Day 2023

Lifeboats News Release

Clacton Pier and ‘The Deep’ in Hull will illuminate the colour blue to mark the third anniversary of World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD) on Tuesday 25 July.

The Deep aquarium in Hull illuminated blue for World Drowning Prevention Day

RNLI/The Deep

The Deep aquarium in Hull illuminated blue for World Drowning Prevention Day

As part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) call to ‘do one thing’ for World Drowning Prevention Day on Tuesday 25 July, both Clacton Pier and The Deep aquarium, located in Hull, will be illuminating the colour blue.

World Drowning Prevention Day is an important opportunity to get involved in raising awareness of drowning prevention amongst the global community.

The WHO’s call to ‘do one thing’ highlights how every person can do one thing to save a life. We all have a part to play to help save everyone whether that is by sharing water safety advice, having a conversation with friends and family, helping support and deliver drowning prevention initiatives or local community events, or posting something on social media – it all counts!

A simple and visually impactful way to get involved is by Going Blue for World Drowning Prevention Day. This could involve wearing an entirely blue outfit or painting blue on your face.

As the charity that saves lives at sea, every day is drowning prevention day for the RNLI. With a vision to save every one, the RNLI believe that even one drowning is one too many.

There were 226 deaths from accidental drownings in the UK in 2022, across inland and coastal locations. Of the people who died 40 per cent had no intention of entering the water.*

During May half term, The Deep helped deliver the RNLI’s Water Safety education messages to 15,000 people. They shared key safety advice on the importance of being aware of the risks and knowing what to do in an emergency including:

  • Stop and think – being aware of the environment and hazards

  • Stay together – Always enjoy the water with a friend

  • Remembering to Float to Live if in difficulty in the water; tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can.

  • And to call 999 in a coastal emergency and ask for the Coastguard or, if you are inland, ask for the fire and rescue service.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, said:

‘RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble.

‘We want people to think about their own safety, take time to familiarise yourself with our advice and to share this with your friends and family.’

With an estimated 236,000 people dying from drowning every year, drowning is a major cause of death worldwide. World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD) was established in April 2021 to raise awareness and drive action to save more lives.

Recently, the RNLI water safety team from Clacton Lifeboat Station trained the staff of Clacton Pier the RNLI’s Waterside Responder scheme. The staff were trained how to use a throwline, call the emergency services and to share lifesaving messages.

The scheme was originally trialled in London and the Tyne and Wear area, where five potential drowning victims were rescued between 2018 and 2020 as a result of the training.

The light up of the pier along with the training of its staff marks the launch of the first county-wide Essex Water Safety forum, a multi-agency working group aiming to reduce drowning in the county.

The Forum is chaired by Essex Fire and Rescue Service and supported by the RNLI, HM Coastguard and other key partners including Town council members and Public Health.

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery are also celebrating World Drowning Prevention Day by working alongside RNLI volunteers across Norfolk on their summer holiday programme: The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck, 1682, from Tuesday 25 July to Thursday 31 August.

The RNLI will be bringing a contemporary glance into water safety on Norfolk coasts, looking at the history and impact of its vital services in the local community with a range of interactive activities for families to get involved with including crew kit dress ups and water safety education on saving lives at sea.

A performance from the Sheringham Shantymen, a music group who have proudly supported and helped fundraise for the RNLI as well as other charities over the years, will mark the opening of the event.

Get involved and share your pictures of Clacton Pier and The Deep illuminating blue this World Drowning Prevention Day or your visit to The Last Voyage of the Gloucester Exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery on social media by using the following hashtags: #DrowningPrevention #RespectTheWater.

For more information on World Drowning Prevention Day 2023, please visit:

Notes to editors

Nick Ayers, RNLI Water Safety Lead, North and East of England will be available for interview at Clacton Pier from 10am to 11am on Tuesday 25 July.

Clacton-on-Sea Lifeboat Station, established since 1878:

For more information on water safety, please visit:

For information on our Float to Live campaign, go to:

RNLI picture caption

The photograph shows The Deep aquarium in Hull illuminated blue for World Drowning Prevention Day. Photo credit: The Deep.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Toni Carr, RNLI Media Engagement Placement on 07890 402106 or [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.