WIDNES firefighters have issued safety advice to children before the summer holidays after a girl in Halton died while swimming last year.

Inspired by the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign, crews from Widnes Fire Station will be delivering drowning prevention advice to youngsters at Kingsway Leisure Centre from until Monday, May 20.

Children from six Widnes schools – Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Primary, Widnes Academy, Simms Cross Primary School, St Basil’s Catholic Primary School, St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School and St Bede’s Catholic Junior School – will learn about the dangers of water and what to do in an emergency situation.

Widnes Fire Station manager, Stuart Devereux, said: “Preventing accidents is a huge part of our role at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“More than 250 people accidentally drowned in the UK in 2017, and last year a girl sadly died in Halton whilst swimming with friends.

“The NFCC’s Be Water Aware campaign has been highlighting the risk of accidental drowning nationally and over a seven-day period my Widnes firefighters will be giving important water safety advice to schoolchildren from across the town so that they have a greater awareness of the dangers of swimming/playing in open water.

“We hope the children enjoy the talks and that the things they learn ensure that they stay safe whenever they are in and around water.”

The talks explain how to have appropriate safety equipment, read warning signs and to have a responsible and capable adult nearby.

They will also explain how to reach a person who is struggling, as well as look at some of the rescue equipment firefighters use.

The following ‘SAFE’ message will be delivered by swift water rescue trained firefighters to the children:

  • Spot: Spot the dangers
  • Advice: Take advice
  • Friends: Go with a friend
  • Emergency: Learn what to do in an emergency