Help save lives on the River Nene

Published Thursday, 10 April 2014

Prevent the misuse and vandalism of life-saving equipment at locks and weirs.

Young people in East Northamptonshire are invited to enter a competition which could help save lives on the River Nene.

East Northamptonshire Council is working with the Environment Agency and Northamptonshire County Council to prevent the misuse and vandalism of life-saving equipment at locks and weirs. This equipment costs thousands of pounds and theft or vandalism of it puts lives in danger.

The competition, for under 18s, is to design a message and/or a picture that will make a vandal or thief think twice before messing with this essential life saving equipment.  The six winners will have their design published and used on lifebelts along the River Nene in East Northamptonshire. They will also each win a £25 Amazon voucher.

Lucy Foster of East Northamptonshire Council says: “This is a great opportunity to play a part in preventing damage to this invaluable equipment and potentially saving lives.  Your message or picture could play a key role in encouraging responsible behaviour on our waterways.”

Sue Cant of the Environment Agency adds: “Drowning is the third highest cause of death in children and claims the lives of more than 400 people in the UK each year.

“This competition will instil in those taking part an understanding of how to enjoy our inland waterways safely and, in particular, the importance of respecting essential life saving equipment so that it is there when it is needed in an emergency. Pupils should feel proud that their winning designs will help to pass on this information in an innovative and imaginative way.”

The challenge is to design something 26cm circular that will fit in the centre of a lifebelt.  Please consider the colours of the life saving equipment – orange and white. We suggest you use contrasting colours and remember to include your name, age, and contact details on the reverse side.

Email entries to lfoster@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk or put it in the post to Lucy Foster, Community Partnerships Team, East Northamptonshire Council, Cedar Drive, Thrapston, NN14 4LZ. The deadline for entries is 5pm on 16 May 2014.

The winning designs will be announced week commencing 26 May and unveiled on 20 June ready for National Drowning Prevention Week.

This is the first competition of its kind in the UK and if the scheme is successful, it may be rolled out nationally.

For queries about the competition, call Lucy Foster on 01832 742268 (Wed-Fri).  View more information at Drowning Prevention Week.