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Walkers, runners, cyclists and water safety

Runners and walkers are the group at highest risk of accidental drowning in the UK. People who have no intention of entering the water may well be unaware of all the dangers posed by waterways, consequently they find themselves in difficulty when they fall in or enter to help someone else or an animal.

  • When running next to water stay back from the edges, pay attention to your footing and beware of trip hazards. Wear appropriate footwear.
  • Don’t walk or run when river levels are high, or extreme weather is expected.
  • Avoid waterside footpaths in the dark, if you do use them and use a hands free light i.e. head torch.
  • Carry a charged mobile phone with you.
  • Dogs can usually only swim for short bursts, keep an eye on your dog and don’t let them swim if old or tired.
  • If river levels are high or fast flowing keep dogs on a lead, their swimming abilities will be no match for a fast flowing river.
  • Never enter the water to save a dog in difficulty, they will usually self-rescue and it is extremely difficult to handle a panicking animal whilst in the water.

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