The Duke of Cambridge has thrown his support behind the Drowning Prevention Strategy for a #SaferThames – an initiative to prevent accidental drownings, self-harm and suicide attempts.
The Duke launched the #SaferThames yesterday, the same day he attended the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace alongside his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge and his grandmother, The Queen.
The Duke, who was travelling down the River Thames alongside representatives from the London Port Authority and Metropolitan Police, stressed the importance and significance of the river but also the dangers it poses.
He urged Londoners to check on those at the river who might be considering taking their own life. He stressed that people should not be “afraid to intervene” adding that a ‘Hello, how are you?’ can be all it takes to save someone’s life.
As part of the launch, William remarked, “Every life lost and every life-changing accident is one too many. And that is why you are all gathered here today. To raise awareness of these dangers, and to work together to prevent them.
“Prevention includes practical measures to save lives. Providing and maintaining life-saving equipment along the river, and reducing opportunities to enter the Thames, is very very much needed. I saw some of that today on my journey here along the river.
“And of course prevention involves all Londoners. Everyday people, going about their commute or on their journey to the pub, have a hugely important role to play. Don’t be afraid to stop and intervene if you see someone who might be considering taking their own life.”
The Duke, who earlier met with families who have lost loved ones in the river, said he was pleased to be able to attend the launch and shared statistics regarding the incidents and fatalities that occur per year on the Thames. There are close to 700 incidents on the Thames with more than 30 deaths a year.
The Drowning Prevention Strategy was designed to tackle the problems that occur on the water each year by the Port of London Authority, London Fire Brigade, RNLI, The Metropolitan Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the London Ambulance Service.
You can learn more about the initiative by visiting pla.co.uk.