Samaritans welcomes the launch of a campaign to make the Thames river, running through the heart of London, a safer place for people in crisis.
Prince William spoke at an event convened by The Thames Water Safety Forum (TTWSF) to unveil a new Drowning Prevention Strategy that aims to reduce the 30 fatalities that occur on the tidal Thames each year.
In addition to announcing the new strategy which addresses a spectrum of important safety areas, including riverside and bridge infrastructure and more well-maintained public life-saving equipment, members of TTWSF, along with Transport for London, signed up to build on Samaritans’ “Small Talk Saves Lives” campaign.
Originally developed with Network Rail, the wider rail industry and British Transport Police, each member organisation pledged their support to extend the Small Talk Saves Lives campaign to the river. They call for people from all walks of life to play their part in saving lives, by following safety advice and having the confidence to intervene when they spot someone in danger, or on the verge of self harm along the capital’s river.
We are proud to support an industry wide approach to create safer environment for everyone. Our Small Talk Saves Lives campaign with the rail industry has demonstrated real impact, with 74% of the public more likely to intervene and help someone after seeing the campaign. Our ambition has always been to extend our work to address other areas of transport and today’s pledge for safer waterways is a milestone. We look forward to working together with partners to reduce the number of lives lost.
Paul McDonald, Executive Director of External Affairs, Samaritans
Anyone who finds an individual in crisis on the river’s edge are urged to call 999 and ask for the coastguard. They’re also reminded to never go into the water after someone in the river.
In keeping with Samaritans vision that fewer people die by suicide, the Thames partnership is seeking to reduce the number of fatalities with a target of ‘zero harm’.
Notes to editors:
- The TTWSF is made up of six organisations, compromising of: The Port of London Authority (PLA), The Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade (LFB), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), London Ambulance Service and Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). They’ve produced a Drowning Prevention Strategy for the tidal Thames along it’s 95-mile course, from Teddington to the North Sea.
- Today’s strategy seeks to develop a specific working group within the Greater London Authority’s London Resilience Forum, so that the lessons and actions developed through the partnership may be shared across all waterways in the capital.
- Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.