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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > Oct/Nov 2016 > Fire and Water

Fire and Water

Senior fire officer Dawn Whittaker tells us about the service’s drowning prevention work

Dawn Whi¤aker understands risky hobbies. She’s been riding motorbikes for 33 years. As a fire officer she’s also seen more than her fair share of motor cycling related deaths and injuries, but that doesn’t stop her riding.

“I know the risks. I am an advanced rider, I wear PPE [personal protective equipment] and watch out for idiots on the road. I do not drink and drive and I do not ride in extreme weather, if it’s flooded or icy, for example.”

Perhaps as a result of this, she’s more supportive of open water swimming than we expected.

“My starting point is about risk awareness and not stopping anyone doing anything. I am a professional firefighter. The majority of fires in the home happen in the kitchen, but I am not telling people to stop cooking! We will tell them don’t drink and cook, check your cooker is safe and switched off when not in use and to clean it properly etc. In other words, be aware of the risks. Similarly, we want people to enjoy the water safely, which is why our latest CFOA water safety campaign was themed and called: ‘Be Water Aware’.”

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In this issue we explore wild swimming in Scandinavia, where the right to roam extends to swimming outdoors – in some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. We also bring you reports from some our favourite events of the summer – more swims for you to add to your bucket list! We hear from Howard James and Sabrina Wiedmer about their record breaking swims – the earliest (and coldest) English Channel crossing and the first woman to cross the Dál Raita Channel, respectively. And if that all sounds a bit too hardcore and serious, Dan Abel shows us how to keep our swimming fun. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.