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Kent ranked third in UK for accidental drowning incidents

By Rebecca Tuffin

Kent has the third highest number of accidental drownings in the UK, according to the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS).

Around 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and thousands more are admitted to hospital, some sustaining life-changing injuries.

And one in 12 people in the South East say they have nearly died in water with 20% not able to swim at all.

The Royal Lifesaving Society spoke to KMTV about the risks to families

Last year, eight people lost their lives in Kent and 53 in the last five years.

To keep safe this summer, RLSS is urging people to take part in organised activities as part of its Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) campaign from June 14 to 24.

Now in its sixth year, DPW will give thousands access to free water safety courses in leisure centres across the county.

Contact your local centre to find out what's on offer.

Six-year-old Dajahnel Young drowned on Margate beach last July. Picture: Google street view
Six-year-old Dajahnel Young drowned on Margate beach last July. Picture: Google street view

Chief executive of RLSS, Robert Gofton said: "Most people are surprised to learn you are more likely to die from drowning than from being hit by a car or in a fire.

"We believe the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented in people don’t take unnecessary risks.

“Every year, we see a tragic number of preventable deaths as people flock to open water sites which are not suitable for swimming.

"It may seem an inviting way to cool off, but there are very real dangers at these sites, such as extremely cold water, uneven depths and hidden debris which people can get injured on or caught in.

“Drowning destroys families and devastates communities."

For more information on DPW click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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