New what3words signs help you stay safe at Stanborough Lakes

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council teamed up with Herts Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS) and leisure contractor GLL to unveil 27 new what3words location signs at a water safety event at Stanborough Lakes on Thursday.

Council staff members, GLL staff, Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue staff and Herts Police staff stand by a what3Words board in front of the lake.

The signs are positioned around the park and are designed to help direct emergency services to a location quickly.

The community safety day was held during Drowning Prevention Week and HFRS showcased its water rescue capabilities, highlighted safety messages, encouraging residents to be water aware and about what to do in the event of an incident.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue is supporting RLSS UK's national Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 18-25 June 2022.

Drowning Prevention Week aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety. 

Over 400 people accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer injury, sometimes life-changing, when they survive drowning.

Cllr Terry Mitchinson, Executive Member for Leisure and Community said:

Swimming in the lakes to cool off in the summer may be tempting but it's very easy to get into difficulty. This community event, organised by Herts Fire & Rescue Service, was a great opportunity to talk to residents about staying safe around water.

The new what3word signs in Stanborough will also provide reassurance to visitors, making it easier to direct friends, family or even the emergency services to their location.

Area Commander Steve Holton from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue said: "We are proud to play our part in ensuring our communities have a safe summer. We recognise how vitally important it is for people to know how to stay safe near water and we want everybody to enjoy all of the fun and benefits of being in and around water but be educated on how to do that safely."

"The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial this year. Throughout 2020 and 2021, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education."

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "Stanborough Park is a popular place, and the lakes facilitate a variety of activities to enjoy, especially over the summer months. This event has been a good opportunity to remind the public that if you are careful and mindful of water safety, tragedies can be easily prevented. If you do come across a water emergency, dial 999 straight away. Don't attempt to get into the water yourself to rescue someone - the chances are that you'll need to be rescued too."

Vishal Karia, GLL Partnership Manager for Stanborough Lakes added:

This simple signage could help save lives by enabling any visitors to the lakes to direct emergency services to an exact location, should someone get into difficulties in the water. 

In partnership with the RNLI and Hertfordshire Boat Rescue we work hard to mitigate the risks that open water swimming and boating can present. Education is a key part of that and spreading key water safety messages to ensure that everyone can enjoy the lakes safely.