Prince William spoke out as he launched a major campaign to help stop suicides and accidental drowning in the Thames. He urged Londoners “not to be afraid to intervene” if they see someone who might be considering taking their own life.
More than 30 people die on the Thames each year, with over 700 life-threatening incidents taking place.
William, who travelled down the Thames on a boat to launch the strategy, said: “Every life lost and every life-changing accident is one too many.” In a speech at the Tidal Thames Event, he said: “Prevention includes practical measures to save lives.”
“Providing and maintaining life-saving equipment along the river and reducing opportunities to enter the Thames is crucially important.”
“Prevention also includes the vital work done by so many frontline staff. They help to keep the Thames safe, day in day out, in all sorts of weathers. And of course prevention involves all Londoners.”
“Everyday people, going about their commute or on their journey to the pub, have a hugely important role to play. Don’t be afraid to stop and intervene if you see someone who might be considering taking their own life.” He added: “A simple, ‘Hello, how are you?’ is sometimes all it takes to save a life.”
The strategy addresses the risk of drowning through accidents as well as suicide.
It has been designed by the Port of London Authority, the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, London Ambulance Service and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
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