AROUND 400 people lose their lives in drowning accidents each year. Last weekend a special event was staged at Ragley Hall by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to raise money and awareness about swimming safely in open water.
The lakes at Ragley Hall were the setting for the Ragley Crawl which saw over 120 participants swim a mile, half mile or team relay course and raise £1,200 for the national life saving charity which is based in Broom.
Now in its second year at the same venue, the Open Water Festival is meant to be a fun way to learn how to swim safely and helps raise awareness in advance of Drowning Prevention Week from 18th to 26th June.
Former British Olympic swimmer and five times world champion James Hickman was at the Ragley Crawl, as was physical activity expert Professor Greg Whyte, who competed in two Olympic Games for Britain in the modern pentathlon and coached comedian David Walliams swim the Channel and the Thames for Comic Relief.
RLSS’s Technical Director, Adrian Lole said: “Open water swimming is the UK’s fastest growing sport and, as the leaders in water safety and lifesaving education, we want to continue to provide safe open water swimming. This is why we want to offer a fun open water swimming event that everyone can enjoy in a safe, controlled environment.”