Water safety partnerships

We work in partnership with organisations all over England and Wales to reach more people with important water safety messages.

Having lunch next to the canal Friends meeting for lunch

We're part of water safety partnerships in Bath, Nottingham, Northampton, Manchester, Leeds, York and Bedfordshire, with plans to proactively pull together more groups in other towns and cities. 

We're also a key member of the National Water Safety Forum - a voluntary association of organisations that have a wide variety of interests and responsibilities for water safety including:

  • sports governing bodies
  • rescue services
  • regulators
  • navigation and harbour authorities
  • local government
  • utilities and other representative groups

National drowning prevention strategy

In 2016, the NWSF launched the UK’s first National Drowning Prevention Strategy which highlighted five specific activity areas for members’ efforts to be focused on:

  • every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim and receive water safety education at primary school and, where required, key stage 3
  • every community with water risks should have a community level risk assessment and water safety plan
  • to better understand water related self-harm
  • to increase awareness of everyday risks in, on and around water
  • all recreational activity organisations should have a clear strategic risk assessment and plans that address key risks

Manchester Water Safety Partnership

The partnership was formed in 2015 and is made up of representatives from Canal & River Trust, CityCo, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Greater Manchester Police, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Royal Life Saving Society UK. We work together to help make Manchester’s waterways safer, with a key focus on the city centre:

  • on average, the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service rescue six people from the city centre each year, 25 in total over the last four years
  • in 2017/2018, we delivered water safety assemblies to nearly 4,500 primary school children in Greater Manchester
  • we distributed 4,000 leaflets about drinking alcohol near water during Manchester Pride in 2017

Recently (2018) there have been two tragedies in Manchester city centre and the partnership is working hard to push out vital water safety messages. The group are also looking at physical measures to keep people safe near the water.

Over the next few months the partnership will share the details of the work to promote safety around Manchester’s canals, with details of safety campaigns and regular updates as any new safety measures are introduced.

Last date edited: 13 June 2018