• Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

The family of drowned sailor Hayden Griffiths share life-saving advice

The family of drowned sailor Hayden Griffiths share life-saving advice

image source, Merseyside Police

Image caption,

Hayden Griffiths, 23, lost his life at sea

The sisters of a man who died while swimming have reminded families of the importance of safety around water.

Megan and Brogan Griffiths, from Wigan, are working with the Lifeboat Foundation on the anniversary of their brother Hayden’s death at the age of 23.

Mr Griffiths, who was chosen to train with the GB sailing team, died in New Brighton last year despite being a strong swimmer.

Meghan said: “If it can happen to Hyde it can happen to anyone.”

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) crews from Hoylake and New Brighton searched for him when he went missing on 19 July 2022.

His body was finally found on July 24.

‘Fading Light’

Mr Griffiths worked hard on his health and fitness and was a member of his local sailing club from the age of six.

He later held a powerboat license and worked on a safety and rescue boat for open water swimming.

Image caption,

Megan and Brogan Griffith say they miss their “gentle giant” brother every day

As well as being selected for the national sailing squad, Mr Griffiths is also named on a competition trophy alongside fellow sailor Ben Ainslie.

Conor Wray, an RNLI volunteer from New Brighton, said: “I remember (that night) vividly because it was my first call as an RNLI volunteer.

“The light was fading and there was a real sense of urgency – there was no time to spare when we heard someone was in the water. We searched extensively.

“But as time went on, we began to fear the worst, and there was a fear that we would face an outcome that no one wanted.”

‘Control your breath’

Ms Griffiths encouraged everyone to listen to the RNLI’s advice and stay safe.

“Swim only between red and yellow flags and tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back,” she said.

The RNLI added that if you get into trouble in the water you should try to float with your head tilted back and try to relax and control your breathing.

A spokesman said: “Use your hands to help you stay afloat, then call for help or swim to safety if you can.”

Figures released by the RNLI to coincide with World Drowning Prevention Day show their lifeguards attended more than 10,000 incidents on beaches, helping 13,758 people between July 25 and September 2 last year.

Figures show 722 people were rescued in the north-west of England during the same period, 283 of them children.

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