Sunderland based taxi company has offered Sunderland RNLI volunteers an early new year boost by helping them spread their Respect the Water safety message.
Station Taxis, Sunderland’s longest established taxi company, has backed the RNLI’s campaign by displaying stickers in their taxis across the city, in a bid to raise awareness about water safety.
“We are very pleased to support the RNLI in spreading this vital message. We have almost 200 vehicles and transport over 50,000 people each week, so we are hoping to raise awareness of the campaign with our customers and the wider community”Trevor Hines, Managing Director of Station Taxis
Five-year figures show an average of 24 people die around the north England coasts each year.
121 people died over the past five years and over half (51 per cent) of them were taking part in activities like walking, running, climbing and boating and were, therefore, unlikely to have intended to enter the water. Slips and falls while walking and running contributed to the most coastal deaths in the region, accounting for 31 per cent.
The RNLI is aiming to halve the number of coastal deaths by 2024.
The charity’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, is this year warning people – particularly adult men – to be aware of the dangers of the coastline, as well as the water itself.
“We are extremely grateful to the management of Station Taxis for agreeing to support our vital campaign.
‘The sea might look inviting, but it can be dangerously unpredictable, with hazards which can be fatal if not respected.
‘Cold water is a major risk for anyone who ends up in the water – intentionally or otherwise. The body’s reaction to sudden immersion in cold water will trigger uncontrollable gasping, which can draw water into the lungs and lead to drowning.
‘The coldness will also gradually shut down the use of limbs, making it very difficult even for strong swimmers to stay afloat.
‘Currents under the surface can overwhelm even the strongest swimmers. They can drag people out of their depth so quickly, and if you try to swim against them you’ll become exhausted.
‘We want people to enjoy the water but to make sure they respect it.Andrew Gillies, Sunderland RNLI Community Safety Manager
Those interested in finding out more about the dangers of the coast can visit the Respect the Water website and see for themselves at www.rnli.org/respectthewater or search #RespectTheWater on social media.
As a registered charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.