Be Aware when running near water


Did you know that 44% of people who drowned in 2014 had no intention of entering the water - they were just running or walking near it? (National Water Safety Forum) This puts runners and walkers the most at risk group of drowning in the UK.

Fire and rescue services throughout the UK will be taking part in a drowning prevention and water safety week from 25 April to 1 May. The campaign is coordinated by the Chief Fire Officers' Association and aims to highlight the everyday risk of being near water.

Here are some simple tips for running or walking near water:

  • Check the forecast – avoid running near water is the weather is bad.
  • Don’t walk or run next to water if levels are high
  • Make sure your run is suitable for your fitness level
  • Consider going for a run with a group or partner
  • Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone and know how to use it. Consider having an OS locate app for a smart phone – if there’s an emergency they need to know where you are.
  • River banks and cliff edges may be unstable - don’t run too close to them especially after bad weather
  • Avoid running when the light is fading or at night
  • Pay attention to your footing
  • Stick to proper pathways

Look out for the #bewaterware on social media and share any advice and tips with friends and fellow runners. 

If you are part of a running group and are interested in advice on staying safe near water please get in touch with CFOA at and they can put you in touch with your local service.

Click here to download a poster (5MB in size)

Be Water Aware logo

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