Sefton Council has installed new emergency equipment close to the lake at Southport’s Hesketh Park.
Housed securely next to the lake and accessible using a code that can be obtained by calling 999, the throwline can be used to help someone in trouble without the risk of anyone else entering the water themselves.
Storing it in the lockable cabinet will ensure the potentially life-saving equipment is in place when someone needs it. The throwline is registered with the emergency services, and if someone should get into trouble in the water, an access code can be obtained from 999 operators.
Instructions on the cabinet make it clear how people can access the throwline and how to use it safely.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Safety in our parks and around lakes, ponds and along our seashore is paramount to the Council so I am glad to see this new piece of equipment installed at Hesketh Park lake.
“Sadly, every year we have reports of life rings and throwlines going missing across the Borough, which can mean lives would be at risk should someone find themselves in difficulty in the water.
“As a solution to this, we have installed this secure unit at Hesketh Park, and are keen to roll out more of these secure lifesaving stations across the Borough.
“It is thought that there are only four similar units across the whole of the North West, so I am delighted that in Sefton we are able to look at lasting solutions which will ultimately ensure the safety of everyone enjoying our parks and greenspaces.”
Steve Thomas, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Chair of the Merseyside Water Safety Forum, said: “It is fantastic to see this potentially lifesaving piece of equipment installed at Hesketh Park. Members of the public should still remain vigilant and be very aware of the dangers of swimming in open water, particularly the effects of cold water shock – even during spells of warm weather.
“We would urge visitors to Hesketh Park and other waterside locations across Merseyside to NEVER tamper with throwlines or other pieces of safety equipment. You might think it’s only a bit of fun, but these items have been installed for a reason. If the equipment has been removed or tampered with, it could be the difference between life and death for someone who has gotten into difficulty in water.”
Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK, and it is important for Sefton residents, and visitors to the Borough, to be aware of the risks and dangers when around water.
It is vital that people follow these important safety tips when near water:
- Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.
- If you are going for a walk or run near water, stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge. Avoid walking or running near water in the dark, if it’s slippery or in bad weather.
- Never interfere with lifesaving equipment such as life rings as you may need it yourself, as might other people who might find themselves in distress.
- Swimming anywhere other than at a purpose-built and supervised swimming pool or water sports centre is highly dangerous and not recommended, unless as part of an organised club.
- There may be hazards under the water such as rocks, debris, broken bottles or even shopping trolleys, which can cause serious injury or may trap you.
- Even competent swimmers may struggle in open water so stick to swimming pools or beaches with a lifeguard and never go swimming alone.