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Commissioner John Campion said “There are too many water deaths across West Mercia.

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 Home and Dry campaign is driven by the Police and Crime Commissioner and brings together a range of agencies to improve water safety, and collectively build awareness of this important issue.

Extensive work has been carried out to fully understand the issue and the campaign has four key strands- education, night time economy, mental health and physical prevention.

The working group, established in August 2018, is PCC driven and multi-agency, bringing together key professionals to share key advice, and collectively shout louder- this is continuing to evolve and grow. Agencies involved include West Mercia Police, both fire services, West Mercia Search and Rescue, RNLI, RLSS UK, Canal and River Trust, The Samaritans, The Street Pastors, Severn Area Rescue Association, the national Water Search and Rescue Team, The Red Cross, Kickstart Academy, along with Local Authorities and Community Safety Partnerships across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Kirsty Walsh, an ambassador for West Mercia Search and Rescue and a widowed mum of two was key in launching the campaign in 2017 and has continued to work with the network to drive the campaign.

Following the tragic death of student Tom Jones in Worcester, Tom’s family have also worked alongside the network to raise awareness, tell their story and share important water safety messages.

Both Kirsty and Tom’s mum Vicki tell their stories 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.

The PCC has recently invested in a dedicated to resource to develop the Education strand of the campaign, working to improve the way children and young people are taught about water safety, with the ultimate aim of preventing more tragedies in the future.  

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 Home and Dry water safety course was initially developed by West Mercia Search and Rescue, and provides some useful tips on keeping you and your loved ones safe. Over 16,500 people have taken part since the campaign launched.

The following partners are part of the campaign:

West Mercia Police

For more information: https://www.westmercia.police.uk

Logo for West Mercia Police

West Mercia Search & Rescue

For advice and to download the Home and Dry Water Safety Course: https://westmerciasar.org.uk/homeanddry/

Logo for West Mercia Search & Rescue

Royal Life Saving Society UK

For extensive advice and resources: https://www.rlss.org.uk/

Logo for Royal Life Saving Society UK

RLNI

For extensive advice and resources: https://rnli.org/

Logo for Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service

For advice: https://www.shropshirefire.gov.uk/

Logo for Shropshire and Rescue Service

Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rscue Service

For advice on staying safe around water: https://www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/water-safety/

Logo for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service

Canal & River Trust

For advice about safety on our waterways: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways

Logo for Canal & River Trust. Making life better by water

Street Pastors

For more information: https://www.streetpastors.org/

Street Pastors logo

University of Worcester

For more information: https://www.worcester.ac.uk/

University of Worcester logo

Water Search & Rescue

For more information: https://wsart.org.uk/

Water Search & Rescue logo

Campaign Materials

For hard copies of materials, or to request branded merchandise email [email protected]. The following materials are available to download

Statistics

In 2020 six people died from accidental/ natural cause drowning in the West Mercia area (3 in Worcestershire, 3 in Shropshire)

456 people drowned across England in 2020

For the WAID (Water Incident Database )full figures click here.

Home and Dry News

For the latest updates on the campaign, click below. Follow the campaign on social media #HomeAndDry:

Protecting new students from water tragedy

Grieving parents back campaign to prevent student deaths

Home and Dry: Educating students about water safety

Growing Network to Ensure Communities Get Home and Dry

Professionals unite to prevent water deaths

Drowning prevention advice

Life saving throwlines installed near open waters

Drowning hotspots targeted in joint project

Agencies unite to call for no more water deaths

PCC backs water safety campaign to ensure people get Home and Dry