UK Water related fatalities 2010 WAID report: Reveals 420 deaths from accidents & Natural causes

There were 420 water-related deaths from accidents or natural causes across the UK in 2010.

The report, which uses the WAter Incident Database (WAID), reveals that, as in previous years, the highest number of fatalities – 217 (52 per cent) – happened in inland waters such as rivers, canals, lakes, lochs, reservoirs and ponds.

Nearly a quarter of fatalities – 94 (22 per cent) – happened at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port, while an additional 73 deaths (17 per cent) happened out at sea. Twenty-four fatalities were the result of incidents in baths (including jacuzzis or hot-tubs), six in swimming pools and six in areas that are not usually watercourses, such as flooded areas. Although fatalities were spread across every day of the week and every month of the year, Saturday was the most common day and April and June the most common months for fatalities to occur.

WAID was developed by the NWSF to enable greater detail and volume in the collection of data on fatal and non-fatal drowning, other water-related deaths and injuries, and near misses. It collects incident data from a wide range of sources including the emergency services, sports governing bodies, coastguard, rescue services, coroners’ courts, and press reports. WAID was developed by NWSF members, including: national partners – British Waterways, British Sub Aqua Club, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RoSPA and Royal Life Saving Society; sports governing bodies; and regional and local organisations, including Cornwall Council. It has been developed in partnership with the Department for Transport.

The purpose of the database is to provide a comprehensive and reliable evidence-base for risks to the public from water-related activities which can be used to inform decisions on risk acceptability, prevention and the appropriateness of risk controls and regulation. The 2010 figures and the development of WAID will be discussed at the National Water Safety Seminar in Birmingham on April 26.

The UK Water related fatalities 2010 WAID report (PDF 784kb) is available here.


More homes and businesses will receive free flood warnings

The Environment Agency is extending its free flood warning service to around 3,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Almost 1,900 properties in Cambridgeshire and 1,100 in Norfolk at risk of flooding from the Hundred Foot Washes will be automatically signed up to the Environment Agency’s free Floodline Warnings Direct service. Read more on the Environment Agency website… 

Twelve new havens for wildlife announced

New nature zones covering hundreds of thousands of hectares are to be set up across England, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman revealed today. The 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) announced today will each get a share of £7.5 million to create wildlife havens, restore habitats and encourage local people to get involved with nature. From creating heathland on brownfield sites, a seven hectare lagoon and a network of wildlife-friendly dewponds to improving the conditions for birds, butterflies and amphibians, these 12 sites will provide the space for our wildlife to thrive. Read more on the DeFRA website…

Consultation for update to Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations is closing

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is the body responsible for investigating marine accidents in the UK. In 2009, the European Commission and Council agreed a new Directive (2009/18/EC), which introduces common standards for the investigation of marine accidents across the EEA (European Union plus Norway and Iceland). The UK is required to update its national law to reflect the requirements of this Directive. Therefore, the MAIB must replace the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2005, with an updated set of Regulations which transpose the requirements of the Directive. MAIB invite comments by Friday 24 February 2012. Read more on the MAIB website… 

Completion of Olympics environmental works secures green legacy

Eight kilometres of river restored, 4,000 homes protected from flood and two million tonnes of soil decontaminated. The work to complete many of the environmental improvements at the Olympic Park and secure a green legacy for future generations was completed today, the Environment Agency has announced. Over the last eight years the Environment Agency has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the London Development Agency and other partners to transform a neglected, run down corner of East London into the largest urban park created in Europe for more than 100 years. Read more on the EA website…

£100,000 fund to help farmers protect wildlife and manage flood risk

Farmers and rural communities across England are set to benefit from nearly £100,000 to reduce the risk of flooding, maintain farmland and create new wildlife habitats, Environment Minister Richard Benyon announced today as he unveiled the 12 successful projects who bid for DeFRA funding.

Twelve local Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) across England have been awarded extra funding to support innovative projects which protect communities or improve the local natural environment. Read more on the DeFRA website…

RoSPA launch The ‘Winter Safety hub’

Each year, RoSPA takes many enquiries from members of the public and employers about staying safe during the winter months. We are committed to the philosophy that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible, and we encourage people – particularly children – to get out and about to enjoy the wintry weather.

In line with this, we hope this page will help you to find some proportionate and sensible safety advice for the winter period. Covering: Water and leisure safety, Winter driving, Slips, trips and falls and more. Read more on the RoSPA website…

Coastguard modernisation proposals confirmed

Plans to modernise the Coastguard have been confirmed by Shipping Minister Mike Penning. The proposals, which were announced for consultation in July, will make the Coastguard better coordinated, more resilient to the challenges of the future and will increase the number of regular coastguard officers working in coastal communities, who provide leadership and support to the volunteers of the Coastguard Rescue Service.

The plans – which will modernise how rescues are coordinated and do not affect the services which go out to perform rescues -will create a nationally networked system of Coastguard coordination centres comprising:

  • One Maritime Operations Centre, to be established in Fareham, Hants, with a back-up facility at the existing Dover coordination centre, both operating on a 24 hour basis; and
  • Eight Coastguard Centres, all operated on a 24 hour basis, located at Falmouth, Milford Haven, Holyhead, Belfast, Stornoway, Shetland, Aberdeen and Humber. The station at London is also retained.

Mike Penning said: “After many years of uncertainty, these reforms provide a clear plan for the future of Her Majesty’s Coastguard. They will deliver a resilient and fully networked national rescue coordination service. They will make much better use of the talents and skills of our Coastguards and will provide more interesting and rewarding work with better pay”. Read more on the MCA website…

RNLI launches international development programme to help prevent drownings worldwide

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is to start actively stepping-up its overseas work, to help developing search and rescue-related organisations and reduce the estimated 1.2million drownings that occur around the world each year.

The charity’s new international development strategy aims to make a significant difference in reducing maritime incidents around the world by delivering a range of services, including consultancy and training, to search and rescue organisations worldwide.

Read more on the RNLI website…