The Home and Dry Campaign was launched in 2017 by West Mercia Search and Rescue, a volunteer led organisation who receive grant funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The campaign is supported by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Royal Life Saving Service (RLSS), Royal National Lifeboat Institute and West Mercia Police.
When the campaign was launched in 2017, 430 people had drowned in the previous year in England. thankfully this number has reduced year on year and in 2019 159 people lost their life in the water. This number however, remains too high and a number of these deaths could have been avoided.
Two of the biggest supporters of the campaign, who have been involved since the begging are Vicky Jones, who tragically lost her son Tom Jones when he drowned in the River Severn during fresher’s week in 2018, and Kirsty Walsh whose husband Shane also died in the River Severn in 2017. Vicky and Kirsty have worked tirelessly to prevent river deaths, and consequently prevent families having to endure the tragic losses that they experienced. They have both bravely told their stories, which can be seen below:
The Home and Dry campaign and those involved in it remain committed to reducing the number of water deaths further; by collectively and extensively tackling the very roots of the issue. Improved education around water safety, physical prevention, work around the night time economy and mental health awareness are all areas that the network focusses on.
Commissioner John Campion said “We are taking a strong and united approach, which draws upon the expertise of a number of agencies and builds upon the existing good work of the last few years.
“Together we will work to continue to reduce the number of water deaths, ensure emergency and voluntary resources aren’t drawn to incidents that could have been prevented, and ultimately keep our communities safe.”
The following partners are part of the campaign:
West Mercia Search & Rescue
For advice and to download the Home and Dry Water Safety Course: https://westmerciasar.org.uk/homeanddry/
Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rscue Service
For advice on staying safe around water: https://www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/water-safety/
Canal & River Trust
For advice about safety on our waterways: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways
For hard copies of materials, or to request branded merchandise email [email protected]. The following materials are available to download
The most up to date figures from the WAID (Water Incident Database) are as follows:
- 430 people drowned across England in 2018, of these:
- 167 accidental (of which 52 were in a river)
- 18 natural causes
- 169 suspected or confirmed suicide (of which 48 were in a river)
- 7 suspected of confirmed crime
- 69 not recorded
- The figures are broadly similar to the 2017 figures, in which 429 people drowned across England of these:
- Of the 185 accidental and natural cause drownings: 159 were male and 26 were female (86%)
- Those aged 25-29 were most likely to die by accidental drowning (11% of cases)- there were fewer deaths in children or elderly people.
- Most accidental drownings happened in June, July and August ( 39%)
- Most accidental drownings happened on a Saturday or Sunday (37%)
- In 66 out of 185 (36%) cases the presence of drugs or alcohol was recorded.
- In 73 out of 185 cases (40%) people were out walking or running when they drowned.
Home and Dry News
For the latest updates on the campaign, click below. Follow the campaign on social media #HomeAndDry: