Why I respect the water

Our lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 558 lives in 2016. But sadly not everyone can be saved. Around 190 people die in UK and Irish waters every year. Behind these statistics are real people, with real stories of why they or their loved ones respect the water.

Spread the word

Once you’ve read and listened to these stories, please share them with your friends and family.

Sharing these stories will help to spread the word about our Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign and help to keep others safe in and around the water.


Together we can save more lives.

Evan survived a rip current 
‘Two big waves just came over us. I was panicking, trying to fight the water and swim.’ 
Evan's story
Angler Mike Bindon

'I want people to learn from Mike's death and understand how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be.'

mike's story
Dog walker Alex Hardy
‘I am still totally devastated.  I respect the sea and coastline more now than ever.’
Alex’s story
Student James Clark
‘It’s too late for James, but not too late to make a lot of other people think carefully about what they are doing.’
James's Story
Climber Peter Stephenson
‘It doesn’t matter how experienced you may be, how familiar you may be with the coastline, anything can happen.’
Peter's story
Lifeguard Supervisor Jack Ellis
‘Being a surfer, it’s easy to think of the ocean as a giant playground. But now I always proceed with caution.’
Jack’s story
Senior Face-to-face Fundraiser James Kelsall
‘I was probably under the water for only 8-10 seconds, but on my way back up I blacked out.’
James’s story
Swimmers David Burns and Maghnus Collins
‘Each morning as we plan our day, we remind each other of the unpredictability of the sea.’
David and Maghnus’s story
Aldeburgh Coxswain Steve Saint
‘I quickly realised you should never underestimate the power or unpredictability of the sea.’
Steve’s story
Surfer Will Glenn
‘When growing up; surfing beaches at home and around the world, I have got into trouble a few times.’
Will’s story
Senior Lifeguard Alex Wake
'The sea should be massively respected by everyone – however experienced or inexperienced you are.'
Alex’s story