Life-saving equipment to be installed at waterside hotspots across Cambridgeshire to keep residents safe
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 June 2020
Residents across Cambridgeshire can feel more assured this summer as water safety stations are being installed across some of the county’s waterside hotspots, including in Whittlesey and Ely.
The potentially life-saving equipment is also being installed in high-risk sites, which are locations for people going into water or where past incidents have happened.
Six throwline stations in Whittlesey and one at Ely Country Park have already been installed, with more to come this month, at a time where more water-related incidents happen as more people cool off in open water.
The boards are being installed by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service alongside the Cambridgeshire Water Safety Partnership and the police and crime commissioner.
Councillor Ray Bisby, acting police and crime commissioner, said: “I am delighted to support the installation of throwline stations at waterside locations throughout Cambridgeshire through my youth and community fund.
“The trauma caused to young people when they tragically lose a friend or family member can affect their mental health and have a lasting impact throughout their life.”
Cllr Bisby added: “By installing the potentially life-saving stations at these waterside locations, we can help keep our communities safe.”
The equipment contains throwlines, stored securely with an access code given to callers by 999 operators in the event of an emergency.
The throwlines then enable members of the public to throw a line of rope and pull someone to safety if they get into trouble in the water.
They also include a what3word location, which will help locate the exact area of the incident and save time finding those who need help.
Station commander Kevin Andrews said: “We’re starting to see more and more people out and about enjoying the sunshine by open water.
“It’s really important that people are aware of the risks and the dangers of our rivers, canals and lakes.
“We’d also encourage people to download the what3words app. It will help identify the precise location of an incident and direct fire crews to exactly where help is required, saving vital minutes.”
The boards and throwlines provide safety advice and rescue capability for anyone who comes across someone having difficulties in the water.
Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences.
Mr Andrews added: “We hope the throwlines and the safety information on them will help people enjoy time spent around open water safely, and, if the worst should happen, the lifesaving equipment could make the difference between life and death.”
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