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MPA supports latest water safety campaign

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Mineral Products Association backing new national #RespectTheWater drowning prevention campaign

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) is urging its members and others in the mineral products sector to actively support the new #RespectTheWater campaign, which was launched this week by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) on the UN’s World Drowning Prevention Day.

The #RespectTheWater campaign is the first-ever multi-agency campaign of this nature, involving organizations such as RNLI, RLSS, RoSPA, HM Coastguard, Fire and Rescue Service, MPA and many more.

New figures show that 62% of accidental drownings happen at inland waters – rivers, canals, lakes, water filled quarries, and reservoirs – and overall, most fatalities took place during July last year, when tragically 62 people lost their lives.

The campaign focuses on who to call if you see someone struggling in the water, reminding the public that for inland locations you should call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service, but for coastal locations you should call 999 and ask for Coastguard.

The resources, which have been created to support the campaign, include a new and impactful water safety advert/video which will be shown on ITV, together with targeted advertising in high drowning areas using catch up TV, outdoor posters, and social media.

There will also be a significant PR push to secure media coverage during the campaign to amplify these important messages to the public at the height of summer. When using social media to push out the advert clips or other resources, the hashtag #RespectTheWater and, also the global hashtag #DrowningPrevention should be used.

All the resources, including the campaign video can be downloaded from a new website – respectthewater.com, with free assets and multi-sectoral links to other campaigns and case studies. This will act as a hub for evolving drowning prevention information across all seasons.

The campaign is:

  • Targeted particularly at males and females between 15-49 – so they know what to do if they witness somebody in difficulty in the water
  • Focusing more on inland areas such as canals, rivers, reservoirs, and quarry lakes, but also very relevant to coastal areas
  • Based on a primary message of who to call if you see someone in difficulty in the water – call 999 Fire and Rescue for inland – call 999 the Coastguard for coastal
  • Based on a trigger message – to fight your instinct to go into the water to help someone in difficulty
  • Plus, telling people what they could do – float to live and, also, throwing people something that floats like a throwline/ring or something to hand like a big cool box or football that could act as a float
  • Delivering the message in an emotionally engaging way so that it sticks in the mind in the future
  • Calling for everyone to share and promote the messaging and resources far and wide.

MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: ‘In a summer which has already seen multiple drownings, including a fatality in a disused quarry, the MPA is actively supporting this campaign and the activities of the National Water Safety Forum. It is important that we all share the campaign messages and resources with friends, families, and employees, as widely as possible.’

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