Firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) have unveiled their latest fire engine design, created to raise awareness of the dangers of water.

Designed to bring to life simple advice that can save lives, the artwork features striking blue colours and key messages to catch the attention of those passing by.

Watch Manager at Bath’s Blue Watch Rich Wheeler said: “We know all too well the grave danger that our waterways present, and believe that nobody should fall victim to drowning.

“Whilst we strongly urge you not to enter the water where it is unsafe to do so, we know that sometimes people do fall in, and so knowing what to do if you or someone else gets into difficulty is vital.”

With three panels, the design covers important water safety points:

  • Respect the water. You never know how cold, how deep or how dangerous the water is, so don’t go in when it’s not safe to do so.
  • If you fall in, float to live. Stretch out your arms and legs and lie back in the water. Breathe slowly, and fight your instinct to panic and thrash about. Once your breathing is under control, call for help.
  • If you see someone in trouble in the water, call 999. Do not enter the water to help them yourself, instead offer help from a safe distance away from the edge such as throwing them a floatation aid or throwline which can be retrieved from any of the River Rescue SOS stations along the waterways in Bath or Bristol.

Rich added: “Cold water shock, currents and other hidden dangers can harm even the strongest of swimmers, so never assume you could just swim to edge and get out. Please take the time to learn what to do in an emergency and share it with family and friends.”

The design comes are part of AF&RS’ ongoing work in water safety, and their commitment to helping people stay safe in around Bath’s waterways.