World Drowning Prevention Day – let’s get involved!

How to get involved in the first-ever World Drowning Prevention Day on Sunday 25 July.

Two swimming instructors are giving children in Bangladesh swimming lessons with floats in a community pool. They are smiling as they splash in the water.

Photo: RNLI

The United Nations (UN) adopted a historic Resolution on drowning prevention in April this year, acknowledging the global drowning issue for the first time in its 75-year history. Alongside the Resolution, the UN established an annual World Drowning Prevention Day, which will be marked for the first time on Sunday 25 July 2021.

Drowning has cost the world over 2.5 million lives in the last decade. 650 people drown worldwide every day, 27 lives lost every hour, one drowning death globally every two minutes. Most of these deaths could and should have been prevented. 

The RNLI won’t stand by while anyone, anywhere, drowns. On the first-ever World Drowning Prevention Day, we will be celebrating the work of lifesavers across the UK, Ireland and internationally. Momentum for this special day has been building, with events and activity planned right across the world

Our inspiring volunteers and staff work tirelessly to prevent drowning every day of the year – and many of you will want to mark this momentous day and remember those who have lost their lives to drowning.

So, with less than a week to go until World Drowning Prevention Day, here are some ideas to help you show your support … 

Help raise awareness 

The RNLI will be marking the day on social media to raise awareness of the global drowning issue among our hundreds of thousands of followers, using the hashtag: #DrowningPrevention

You can get involved and download some resources below, as well as find out about the new film that has been created to mark the day. 

Download the resources:

Sharing our World Drowning Prevention Day film:

There is a fantastic film that has been produced to mark World Drowning Prevention which you can watch on our website. Please do not share this film until Sunday 25 July on social media. On the day, a link to YouTube will be added to this article so you can easily share the film from your account.

We are asking volunteers and staff to share this on Sunday for the first time to maximise our impact.

There will also be a special celebration for World Drowning Prevention Day from the RNLI's main social media accounts - so please keep an eye out if you would like to share even more! 

Show your support on Zoom or Teams:

You can also show your support on your video calls by downloading this background (JPEG – 12,211KB) which can be used on Microsoft Teams or Zoom – great for using on calls with fellow volunteers or with our partners to show you are getting behind the day. Here are some instructions to help you change your background on Teams or Zoom

If you’re not on social media, you could start a conversation with people in your community to share the news or find out more about other ways to get involved below. 

Go blue for World Drowning Prevention Day 

Our partners in Ireland will be showing their support by lighting up several government buildings in blue, thanks to an RNLI staff member who contacted them to suggest it. 

If you’d like to take part, you could wear blue on Sunday to help start a conversation, or post on your social media using the resources available from Water Safety Ireland

Keep an eye out for the blue buildings in Ireland on Sunday! 

Share the new WHO resources 

Our International Team have supported the World Health Organisation (WHO) in creating a downloadable PDF toolkit for grassroots lifesaving organisations to help them mark the day. 

The toolkit contains key messages and facts, along with guidance for how to use these to prepare communications and plan activities. 

You can download this resource from the WHO website, and share it with any organisations that you know who may benefit from communications and social media tips and ideas. 

Talking about our international work 

Talking about our lifesaving work isn’t always easy, and as you will be aware there has been increased media coverage about our work in the Channel over the past couple of weeks. It’s understandable that some of our supporters may have some questions. 

If you need any support in talking about our work, you can use the RNLI How to Talk About Guide, speak to your RNLI manager or get in touch with our Internal Communications Team

Watch this space

Even more activity will be happening for World Drowning Prevention Day, including an exciting podcast from our partners in Bangladesh! 

This article will be updated throughout this week as we discover more and resources become available – so please check back here and keep and eye out in the RNLI Volunteers' Facebook Group

If you’re doing something for World Drowning Prevention Day, please let our Internal Communications Team know, as we will also be bringing you a wrap up of activity from World Drowning Prevention Day at the start of August. 

Whatever you do, thank you for your support and for everything you do, every day, to prevent drowning at home and overseas. It’s what makes every one of us a lifesaver.