Play It Safe: More shops throw support behind our campaign
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Few activities are more enticing on hot summer days than going for a swim.
But each year around our coastline people lose their lives in tragic accidents in the water, many of which could be avoided.
This newspaper and its sister publications around the coast have launched the Play It Safe... Be Water Aware campaign to help ensure people remember their trip to the beach for all the right reasons.
The campaign has already drawn support from the RNLI, the Broads Authority and the business community, and this weekend even more shops in coastal areas have got behind it.
Jack Button, owner of the Ice Hut in Sheringham's High Street, said: "I know the Coastguard and the ambulance service have prepared for a busy season, so in conjunction with more advertising on staying safe, hopefully we won't hear of too many causalities."
Moya Roseby, owner of Rags & Bags women's clothing store in Church Street, Sheringham, said swimming was an important part of many people's free time, although the water had to be warm for her to venture into the waves.
Speaking in support of Play It Safe...Be Water Aware, she said: "It has to be 90F degrees (32C) out there before I go in! But I do now and again, when I'm on holiday.
"But I don't go out too far. Stay in the safe part of the beach and just enjoy it."
John Holden, a Royal Life Saving Society tutor and North Norfolk Vikings Swimming Club coach, has offered his water safety tips for the campaign.
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He said people should avoid swimming alone in open water, and head to beaches that were lifeguarded.
He said: "Open water can be deceptive, even on the hottest days. Solo swimming in such places is a massive risk.
"You stand very little or no chance of being found, let alone being rescued but the desire to ‘cool down’ is sometimes irresistible."
Show your support
We are encouraging businesses to help spread the water safety message by displaying the Play It Safe poster in their windows.
David Powles, EDP editor, said: "Norfolk and Suffolk are blessed with some wonderful places to enjoy water, with miles and miles of stunning coastline and the beautiful Broads.
"However, in recent years there have been several signs that perhaps people are not fully aware of the dangers which can lay beneath and are not fully preparing themselves before going into the water.
"In 2020 we sadly saw several tragedies both on the coast and inland and already this summer there has been one tragic death of a young man.
"We want to spread more awareness to those looking to enjoy our waters and hope this campaign will do just that, plus encouraging shopkeepers and businesses in popular areas to display our specially designed posters."
The posters can be ordered for free, with only a small charge for postage and packaging, from www.norfolkstore.co.uk/store.