Pupils at Warminster Preparatory School are making waves by learning how to stay safe near water as part of a national campaign to prevent drowning.

Volunteers from the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the UK’s national water safety and drowning prevention charity, taught the Year 3 pupils how to help someone in difficulty in the water by throwing a floating aid or reaching out to the casualty with a stick. The group also learned survival and self-rescue skills and sampled a lifesaving sport event – the 12 metre rope-throw. At the end of the session the lifesavers put all their new skills into action during a simulated incident – rescuing drowning swimmers from a life raft.

David Fielding, chairman of the Avon & North Wiltshire Branch of RLSS UK, said: “About 400 people drown in the UK each year, and thousands suffer life changing injuries because of near-drowning experiences. Shockingly drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure our pupils stay safe whenever they are near water and telling them that, although water is a lot of fun, this fun can very soon turn to tragedy if they don’t recognise the dangers.”