In support of Drowning Prevention Week (15-25 June) we have created this new area of our website to bring together water safety messages from both our site and relevant external organisations. It’s designed to keep commercial and recreational river users( as well as members of the public enjoying the riverside) safe.
The National Water Safety Forum’s UK Drowning Prevention Strategy 2016 to 2026 sets out an aim to reduce the number of drownings in the UK by 50% by 2026. Although the PLA’s primary responsibility is for safety of navigation along 95 miles of the Tidal Thames, from the Estuary to Teddington, we are also committed to wider water safety under the ‘Protect’ strand of our Strategy – targeting Zero harm and sustainability.
With over 300 incidents per year as a result of self harm and even more people ending up in the water accidentally - riverside pub goers, joggers, dog walkers, etc – the PLA is working with partner agencies to save lives and reduce this number by 10% per year.
The PLA is seeking to achieve this by working in partnership with the emergency services including; HM Coastguard, RNLI, London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police (Marine Policing Unit) and London Ambulance Service and has formed the Tidal Thames Water Safety Forum with the aim of working in synergy for a #Safer Thames.
Helping prevent untimely deaths and accidents on the tidal Thames was the focus of the PLA’s first-ever Shoreside Water Safety Workshop.
Held at Little Ship Club in east London, the event included talks and safety demonstrations by the PLA, RNLI, Samaritans and City of London staff to an audience representing those with an involvement in riverside development. This included local authorities, property developers and engineers who heard emergency service statistics, which show that more than 300 people attempt to enter the tidal Thames every year, which results in approximately 30 fatal suicides or accidents each year. The workshop allowed those present to discuss ideas to make improvements in bridge and shoreside safety measures along the Thames and the agreed actions will be added to this new section in due course.