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27 Jul 2023

MPA and its members support World Drowning Prevention Day

MPA and its members shared key water safety messages on World Drowning Prevention Day on 25th July and two media events were supported by MPA as part of a multi-agency campaign to raise public awareness at the start of the school holidays.

Somerset Earth Science Centre (SESC), located in John Wainwright & Co’s Moon Hill Quarry in the Mendips, hosted a media morning with representatives from the Centre, MPA and Wainwrights. ITV and local radio were able to film at the centre’s lakeside setting, see a demonstration of throw lines and hear about two key life saving strategies.

If you see someone in difficulty in the water, resist the temptation to get into the water, stay on land and follow a 3-step process. Call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service at inland water sites and the Coastguard on the coast. TELL the individual to float on their back. THROW them something that floats. More information is available at

‘Float to Live
A lifesaving technique for individuals who find themselves in trouble in the water. Turn on your back, put your ears in the water and move your hands to help you float. This helps individuals to calm down, allows their body to adjust to the conditions and provides time either for a rescue or for the individual to work out how to self-rescue.

The powerful video produced by the RNLI demonstrates the ‘Float to Live’ technique.

Adel Avery, Centre Business Manager, also explained how the extensive work they undertake with schools, universities, and other public events, enables them to share water and other quarry related safety messages. The SESC, is sponsored by the Mendip Quarries Group.

Bawsey Country Park in Norfolk, incorporates a restored quarry lake which has sadly been the site of several drownings.

Members of the public visiting the park and local media were able to witness demonstrations of a water rescue, and the use of throw lines. Representatives from the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, MPA and Bawsey Country Park also shared the CALL TELL THROW and ‘Float to Live’ messages. The event was part of several that will be run over the summer by the Norfolk Water Safety Forum to help members of the public to enjoy water safely.

In 2022, there were 226 accidental drownings in the UK, 60% of these were at inland water such as canals, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and quarries.

Support of World Drowning Prevention Day and other initiatives that raise public awareness of the potential hazards associated with open water, such as quarry lakes, will help prevent further tragic deaths – Anyone Can Drown But No One Should.


Notes for Editors:
Photo 1: Adel Avery being interviewed at the Somerset Earth Science Centre
Photo 2: Norfolk Fire and Rescue carrying out a demonstration at Bawsey Pits

About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and industrial sand industries. With the merger of British Precast, and affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, the Cement Admixtures Assocation (CAA), CONSTRUCT, Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the UK Quality Ash Association (UKQAA), it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2018, the industry supplied £16 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £172 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.

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