About River & Sea Sense

Debbie’s Story

River & Sea SenseRiver And Sea Sense was set up due to the loss of my 15 year old son Christopher to drowning at Capel Curig in North Wales on August 14 2006.

Over the past 10 years RASS has educated over 195.000 young people and adults across North Wales and beyond as to the dangers of open water. In this the 10th year Anniversary of the loss of my son I want to make a difference – a memorable impact on both young people and adults in making them more aware of their own and others safety. Because of the strain on our emergency services it was decided that if RASS added CPR and SABL workshops by trained RLSS Instructors this would help in many ways to reduce incidents where people were rescued and aid in the saving of lives using the education taught on a peer to peer basis. RASS works with all the emergency services across the UK and is part of the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy of which members are RLSS RNLI ROSPA CFOA to name but a few. Another project for 2017 is working with the Welsh Baccaulaureate on a Drowning Prevention project created to teach Water Safety in a peer to peer manner saving even more lives. My son died for a reason and I believe THIS to be his LEGACY.

RASS has received recognition from Emergency Services across the UK and beyond.  Awards such Free To Network Resilience In Business – Finalist Pride of Britain – Finalist National Lottery Awards – WCVA

A Media Portfolio over the past 10 years has included ITV –  BBC –  BBC Radio – Heart Radio –  Daily Mirror –  Woman and Home –  Bella –  Best Woman –  Local and National Press.

The project is needed as there is not enough Water Safety and Lifesaving Education. Young people take risks, drink alcohol, and put their lives and others in danger. There are a number of ‘Hot Spots’ in the local area and across North Wales where young people visit on a regular basis to have fun and which often are having to be chased away or rescued by our emergency services.

RASS  provides workshops – presentations – sos events to young people and adults in particular the age range of 8 to 21.  Statistics released recently and every year state that the main age for drowning is between 14 and 17 and the majority are boys.  Alcohol plays a significant part as does peer pressure – however in some cases the people who drown had no intention of going in the water – this is due to poor education of the danger around open water.


Workshops For Young People/Adults – The workshops cover the story of how my son drowned which has a powerful impact on all. Some of the main points are CPR/SABL by trained RLSS Facilitators – Cold Water Shock – Peer Pressure – Alcohol and Drowning – Taking Responsibility For Yourself And Others – I.C.E Mobile Phone Awareness – Different areas identified i.e River Sea Quarry Reservoir Man made Open Water Areas – Riptides – What To do In Emergency – What its like to lose a child.

For younger children RASS creates a bespoke workshop – for the school or group – encouraging interactive responses and young people really enjoy the quiz at the end – this is invaluable as it proves how much information has been taken in.  Although the sessions are fun the children absorb the seriousness of the story as it unfolds.