It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day.

Andrew Cotton the world famous big wave surferAndrew Cotton the world famous big wave surfer

Each decision, of course, carries certain consequences with it that are both good and bad, right or wrong.

Just consider how many decisions you make when you have a day out at the beach. Should I have an ice-cream with a flake? Where should I position my towel? Which seagull is about to grab my sandwich?

But how about these questions... is this water deep enough to jump into? How do I get out of this RIP? Should I let my child into the sea with an inflatable?

If you have been educated to understand water safety and drowning prevention, you will make hundreds of decisions which keep you and your family safe when near water.

Artist Becky BettesworthArtist Becky Bettesworth

The consequences of your ‘right’ decisions are fun memories by the sea or river. If you make a ‘wrong’ decision this could lead to injury, rescue or someone drowning.

Drowning is totally catastrophic to all concerned as it normally happens when you are having the ‘best of days’.

Sadly, I have seen the catastrophe that is drowning first hand – as well as the effect it has on family, friends and the community.

Among the thousands of subtle, conscious decisions you make, it only takes one - just one - wrong decision when in, on or near water for someone to drown.

This winter the charity Above Water has started the #STOPdrowning T-shirt campaign.

It’s a really simple campaign. Celebrities, athletes, politicians, artists, social media influencers and many, many more have all stepped forward to wear a #STOPdrowning tee, showing their support to put a stop to accidental drowning in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

The idea behind the T-shirt is to remind anyone near water to ‘stop’ and ‘think’.

By encouraging you to think, we hope you will make the ‘right’ decision to help you stay safe.

Tragically, approximately 700 people drown every year in the UK and Ireland and thousands are injured or rescued.

With the right education and understanding, we want you to make the right choice for yourself, your family, and friends.

Making the right choice will keep you safe. Making the right choice will mean you go home safely.

Let’s all strive to make the right choice when near water and #STOPdrowing on this island nation.

In the links here, there are many activities you can do this winter to get you and your family water-smart - why not use these lockdown days and darker nights to upskill your family?

Above Water - www.abovewater.org; Royal Lifesaving Society - www.rlss.org.uk; RNLI- www.rnli.org; Swimming Teachers’ Association - www.sta.co.uk; ROSPA- www.rospa.com; interactive first aid understanding/teaching - www.life-saver.org.uk