Professor Mike Tipton from the Extreme Environments Laboratory has lent his expertise to the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign ‘Respect the Water’ to reduce the number of people who lose their lives though drowning in Ireland.
Each year an average of 28 people drown accidentally around the Irish coast.
The RNLI, working in partnership with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), aims to halve coastal drowning by 2024 and the GAA will work with the charity to engage with clubs and communities, particularly on the coast, to provide information and support that could save lives.
Through the partnership, the RNLI invited the GAA to their training college in Poole and to the University of Portsmouth to meet cold water shock expert Professor Mike Tipton. Four GAA athletes; Jackie Tyrell from Kilkenny, Lyndsey Davey from Dublin, Neil McManus from Antrim and Lee Chin from Wexford experienced what it was like to be plunged into cold water and see the effects of it on the body.
Professor Tipton said: “It was a great pleasure to see our research findings being applied and these two major organisations working together to reduce the instances of drowning in Ireland.”
RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, who added, ‘Drowning devastates communities, but it’s often accepted as just part of life by the water. We believe that many of these deaths are preventable and we need to work with other organisations who, like us, want to keep their communities safe.”
Watch the campaign video here – https://youtu.be/YIc5j1uZP3g
The Respect the Water campaign will be rolled out across the UK on 25 May 2017 and will run throughout the summer. It will also be based on the work of Professor Tipton and his colleagues at the University of Portsmouth.