RNLI to mark World Drowning Prevention Day

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Monday 18th July 2022 3:41 am
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A number of events are planned across the island this month to celebrate the RNLI in its birthplace.

An estimated 236,000 people drown every year.

On July 25, a number of famous landmarks – including the 3km length of Douglas promenade – will turn blue to mark efforts across the world to end the preventable loss of life through drowning.

The RNLI will also be in the main shopping area in Douglas offering sea safety advice.

World Drowning Prevention Day was created through a UN resolution on drowning prevention in 2021, acknowledging the issue for the first time in its 75-year history.

On the Isle of Man, landmarks including the Tower of Refuge, Town Hall and Douglas Promenade will be lit blue to highlight the impact of drowning on families and communities across the world.

Alongside landmarks lighting up blue, a number of other events will take place throughout the weekend, many of which will mark the significance of the Tower of Refuge, which was built by RNLI founder Sir William Hillary 190 years ago.

On Saturday, July 23, the Douglas RNLI crew will take part in the city’s carnival and will be highlighting a piece of artwork which celebrates the history of the Tower of Refuge.

Peter Washington, RNLI Lifeboat operations manager for Douglas, said: ‘The RNLI was founded in Douglas and it’s absolutely vital for us to mark and celebrate the role of our volunteers in saving lives at sea as we gear up for our 200th anniversary.

‘By going blue for World Drowning Prevention Day, we’re not only celebrating lives saved, but also marking the profound effect of drowning and pledging to continue striving to end the preventable loss of loss through drowning.’

He added: ‘People across the world are still drowning and our belief is that no one should.

‘This day will give us an opportunity not only to celebrate the work of our dedicated volunteers but also help us to aid awareness and encourage people to know what to do should they get into trouble.

‘We will use this increased awareness to educate people about the Respect The Water campaign so everyone knows exactly what to do if they find themselves of others in trouble in the water.

‘We have a proud tradition of lifesaving on the island and an incredible amount of support as a charity not only run by volunteers but also supported by charitable donations.

‘I hope people enjoy the events on offer which we hope will showcase our proud history and heritage.’

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