EMERGENCY services and charities have met to discuss water safety.

The meeting was part of West Mercia Search and Rescue's Home and Dry Campaign, which is backed by police and crime commissioner John Campion.

Mr Campion said “There’s been some excellent work across a range of agencies and sectors, and I am pleased to lead this drive, bringing together a range of partners with the same focus to reduce open water deaths.

"Education and engagement is vitally important, not only to protect communities but to ensure emergency and voluntary resources aren’t drawn to incidents that could have been prevented."

Representatives from West Mercia Police, West Mercia Search and Rescue, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, the RNLI and the RLSS UK met with the commissioner, and water safety ambassador Kirsty Walsh, who was widowed when her husband drowned, to identify and build on best practice, and look at ways to educate and inform communities, in order to keep them safe.

The agencies are working together to call for no more deaths in rivers and other open water, after 429 people drowned in England last year.

Mr Campion added: "I look forward to working collectively to build awareness of this important issue."

The commissioner recently gave his backing to West Mercia Search and Rescue’s Home and Dry Campaign.

Their Water Safety Course is suitable for all ages, and is available online and offline with information on the dangers For more information, visit http://westmerciasar.org.uk/homeanddry/