GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is continuing its mission to keep people safe around water running up to Christmas.

Firefighters have delivered water safety training to managers and landlords of bars close to waterways as part of its plan to educate more people about water safety and prevent drowning incidents, particularly in Manchester city-centre.

Training has taken place around Deansgate Locks jointly delivered by GMFRS and Royal Life Saving Society UK, with support from CityCo and Greater Manchester Police.

The prevention work supports that carried out across the UK by organisations and charities, such as the Royal Life Saving Society UK – which is running its latest Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign from Monday, December 2 until Sunday, December 8.

The main messages of this year’s campaign are for people not to walk home near open water - such as the canals that run through Manchester city-centre – and to stay with their friends after they have been drinking.

Area manager Damian O’Rourke from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are pleased to be supporting the latest Don’t Drink and Drown campaign and want to take the opportunity to remind people – especially those out drinking in the run up to Christmas – to take care around water.

“Our firefighters are trained in water rescue but sometimes it just isn’t possible to get to people in time to save them. We have sadly seen too many people drown in Greater Manchester, with many incidents happening in the canals in the city-centre.

“If you are out enjoying drinks with your friends please never walk along the canals alone and always try and plan your journey home at the start of your night out. It’s also really important to stay together, and if a friend has had one too many then do the right thing and help them to get home safe.”