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River and Sea Sense

River and Sea Sense teaches water safety and CPR to young people and adults across Wales, to try to avoid future tragic accidents.

Ten years ago Debbie Turnbull lost her teenage son Chris to drowning while swimming with friends in a local river. Debbie from North Wales has set up River and Sea Sense, with the aim of doing everything in her power to prevent another family going through the same nightmare.

River and Sea Sense runs Water Safety and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) workshops and schools presentations/events for young people and adults across Wales, to alert them to the dangers of open water, and teaches them what to do if someone does get into difficulties. The project educates all ages, particularly young people, about the risks involved in and around open water whether it be sea, river, pond, quarry or reservoir. It encourages peer to peer education, because of the impact on young people of hearing Chris' story.

National Lottery funding has helped the project buy valuable education equipment for CPR training, schools presentations and workshops.

River and Sea Sense has educated over 185,000 young people in schools and youth groups on drowning prevention.

Chris Turnbull was out with friends swimming at Lligwy Falls, Capel Curig, on August 14, 2006. Within seconds and completely unaware of the danger he was in, the 15-year-old was sucked into a whirlpool where his foot became trapped, before he drowned.

We may never know how many lives will be saved thanks to Debbie's work. As she travels Wales giving presentations in schools, her emotional story means pupils rarely forget the message she spreads.

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