SEVEN people lost their lives off the North West coast last year - with 71% being male, the RNLI has revealed.

The 2018 coastal fatality figures released today are identical to 2017.

From those who lost their lives, more than half of them did not intend to enter the water and activities such as running, walking and waterside activities have been found to be a contributing factor to people losing their lives.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner for the North West said: "No one should have to lose someone they love to drowning.

"Many of the tragic deaths at the coast can be avoided if people understand the risks and prepare themselves by practising the Float technique.

"We’ve been contacted by people who say they recalled the Float safety message while in serious trouble in the water, and that following the RNLI’s advice helped save their life.

"But we can’t get complacent, we all have a role in getting behind coastal safety education, investing in initiatives and sharing survival skills to help save lives from drowning."

These figures have been released by the national charity ahead of their Respect the Water campaign for 2019 and the RNLI is urging the public to take action and follow their lifesaving advice of 'floating'.

Chris added: "A worrying trend shows men make up most of the fatalities at the coast every year; last year five males lost their lives off the north west coast.

"Figures show 57% hadn’t planned on entering the water, with slips, trips and falls catching them unaware while out running or walking.

"Knowing what to do if you fall into cold water can be the difference between life and death.

"The instinctive human reaction when you fall into cold water can cause panic and gasping for breath, increasing the chances of breathing in water.

"Although it’s counter intuitive, the best immediate course of action is to fight your instinct and float on your back."

For more information on how to float visit


If you see someone else in danger in the water at the coast, fight your instinct to go in and try to rescue them yourself, instead call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.