Brighton pub to promote anti-drowning campaign

Staff at the Pump House back the RNLI campaign (Photograph: Laura Lewis)
Staff at the Pump House back the RNLI campaign (Photograph: Laura Lewis)

A Brighton pub has pledged it's support to the a national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water.

The Pump House pub, part of the Nicholson’s pub chain, is supporting the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI's) campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the potential risks of being on or near water, and equip people with the skills and knowledge to keep themselves and others safe when in or near water.

The RNLI said each year around 190 people die around the coasts of the UK and Ireland, and the charity claimed that often they have traveled from inner city areas to the coast, and many of them never even intended to be in the water but accidentally slipped or tripped.

Staff at the Market Street pub will promote water safety messages to customers this summer via special promotions of their fish dishes, empowering staff with water safety advice to share with customers, and running additional fundraising and awareness activities.

Throughout the six-week partnership, Nicholson’s aims to raise £28,000 for the RNLI, which remains an independent charity reliant on voluntary contributions.

Annette Middleton, marketing manager at Mitchells and Butlers, the parent company for Nicholson’s, said: ‘We’re thrilled to support the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign. Pubs are a thoroughly British institution, part of the very fabric of our culture, and we see the RNLI charity in exactly the same way. At Nicholson’s we place great emphasis on the safety of our customers, but supporting the RNLI gives us an opportunity to go beyond our customers and hopefully educate a wider audience about the potential dangers of water."

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign aims to educate people in Brighton and East Sussex about the potential dangers of water, particularly when temperatures rise and many head to the coast to go afloat or visit beaches. While the charity’s lifeboats and lifeguards are on hand to carry our rescues, Respect the Water aims to prevent people getting into difficulty in the first place.

Ross MacLeod, coastal safety manager from RNLI, said: "Through our Respect the Water campaign we’re trying to change people’s behaviours to make them think about safety and take steps to safeguard themselves and others. It goes without saying our lifeboats will always launch to someone who is in distress - as a search and rescue organisation that will never change.

"But the phrase “prevention is better than cure” rings true, and it is fantastic that such a popular chain as Nicholson’s has agreed to support us in spreading those safety messages."

Some examples of campaign advice the Pump House staff will be helping to spread include:

- Around 190 people die at the UK and Irish coast each year. Half never planned to enter the water.

- British and Irish waters are cold enough year-round to trigger cold water shock.

- People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.

- If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

- If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

- Respect the Water is at the heart of the charity’s drowning prevention work, helping achieve the RNLI’s goal to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.