Water: Safety

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 19th July 2022.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the oral contribution of the hon. Member for Saffron Walden at the debate on Throwline Stations on 24 January 2022, what progress he has made on (a) reviewing coastal water safety, (b) raising awareness of the dangers of wild swimming and (c) ensuring landowners properly assess the safety requirements of bodies of water.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Minister of State (London), Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Transport, has collaborated with stakeholders to issue the 'Managing Beach Safety' publication as well as the 'Respect the Water' campaign. The MCA is also involved with the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF). The responsibility for coastal safety lies with private beach owners, other foreshore area land owners and activity providers.

The Environment Agency, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, encourages safe and responsible recreation on inland and coastal water and is responsible for safety on waterside assets it owns, operates or occupies (such as locks, weirs and bridges). It undertakes a comprehensive programme of public safety risk assessments of those assets and regularly inspects them to ensure that the provided risk control measures are well maintained.

The Environment Agency has published advice on how to stay safe while visiting waterways: www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-around-water. It is also a member of the National Water Safety Forum.

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