RNLI launches Respect the Water campaign

UK coastal fatality figures reached a five-year high in 2015.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has today launched a drowning prevention campaign – Respect the Water – to raise awareness of the dangers of water.

Coastal fatality figures in the UK coast reached a five-year high in 2015, with 168 people losing their lives.

James Millidge, RNLI coastal safety manager, said: “People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable. Each year RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards save hundreds of lives but, sadly, not everyone can be saved. Over 160 lives are lost at the UK coast each year and the real tragedy of the situation is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.

“The fact that over half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water suggests people are also not taking enough care along the coastline itself. We’re warning people to stay away from cliff edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable or uneven ground. Stick to marked paths and keep an eye on the water. Watch out for unexpected waves which can catch you out and sweep you into the water.”

As the lead digital agency for the RNLI, Yoyo created the website which acts as the central point to the multi-channel campaign. The homepage houses a multiple choice game for visitors to test themselves on whether they would know what to do if they fell into the water unexpectedly.

Louisa Steward, head of delivery at Yoyo Design, said: “This powerful campaign is one of the RNLI’s largest throughout the year, and certainly one of the most important ones. Too many people still die at sea and we hope that by raising awareness of the dangers, we can help the RNLI reduce these numbers. The website project was fast-paced with delivery in around two months. A lot of hard work has gone into the campaign and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

The hashtag #RespectTheWater trended on Twitter this morning, with the campaign gaining widespread media coverage on the BBC, ITV, Sky News and more.

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