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Creative kids make waves to save lives

Published Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Special ceremony to unveil winning lifebelt competition designs

The winners of a competition to design an anti-vandalism message for essential life saving equipment on our waterways will have their designs unveiled at a special ceremony hosted by East Northamptonshire Council.

The council ran a competition for under 18s to design a message or a picture to be placed inside lifebelts along the River Nene, to make a vandal or thief think twice before messing with this vital equipment.@ The winning designs will be unveiled at Ringstead Upper Lock on 19 June ready for Drowning Prevention Week. This was the first competition of its kind in the UK and saw over 270 entries submitted.

The panel of judges who chose the winning designs, including East Northamptonshire Council’s Chairman Gill Mercer, Schools Swimming Manager (Northamptonshire County Council) Steve Jackson, Nene and Lincolnshire Waterways Manager (the@Environment Agency) Sue Cant and Sector Commander (Northamptonshire Police) Inspector Inam Khan, will attend the unveiling along with the competition winners.

Each winner received a £25 Amazon voucher and Georgia Russell was also picked at random to receive an extra prize. She has been invited to a paddle boarding session at Woodford Marina, kindly donated by River Spirit Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

Run by The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS), Drowning Prevention Week (21 - 29 June) aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water.

Councillor Gill Mercer, Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, said:@ "Around 400 people drown in the UK each year and thousands more suffer in near-drowning experiences, many resulting in life changing injuries.

"Theft or vandalism of the equipment at locks and weirs simply puts lives in unnecessary danger. We’re happy to raise awareness of this problem through the colourful and thought-provoking designs supplied by pupils at schools in East Northamptonshire."

Drowning Prevention Week.