RoSPA National Water Safety Conference 2019

Making every community count

18 November 2019 – Glaziers Hall, London

In the three years following the launch of the UK drowning prevention strategy lots of organisations across the UK have made real progress towards reducing the number of deaths we see in our waters.  

In this conference, we will look at communities who have successfully mobilised to address the drowning problem.  We will also share the insights and lessons from a number of high profiles events.

At the conference you will:

  • Learn how you can best align efforts to the drowning prevention strategy
  • Hear how national and local governments have improved safety despite restricted budgets and staffing cuts
  • Get involved with key campaigns, make new contacts, and learn new guidance
  • Attendance certification provided to log against your CPD scheme

No matter what your professional connection with water safety and risk management, the conference will offer essential information for all.



09:15 Registration, refreshments and networking

10:00 Welcome and introduction
George Rawlinson, NWSF Independent Chair

10:10 The independent review of water safety regulation at UK beaches
Dominic Watkins, Partner, DWF Law LLP

For many years there has been perceived or actual lack of clarity on who owes legal responsibility for ensuring water safety on our coastline. Following the tragic deaths at Camber Sands, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency commissioned Dominic to conduct an independent review of the legal framework and make recommendations for improvement. Dominic will present his findings and recommendations.

10:40 A #SaferThames
Mark Towens, Harbour Master, Port of London Authority

The Tidal Thames Water Safety Forum’s strategy was launched earlier this year with support from HRH Prince William. The aim is to reduce the annual 700 incidents and 30 fatalities resulting from accidental or deliberate drowning (suicide) along the River Thames. It is a multi-faceted approach that calls on planners, local authorities, businesses and those from all walks of life to play their part in saving lives and making a #SaferThames. In his capacity as Chair of the Tidal Thames Water Safety Forum, Mark will present the lessons from the development of the forum and its drowning prevention strategy, and what the next steps are for the forum.

11:10 Refreshment break

11:35 Manchester: a City, United
David Wilson, Station Manager Manchester Central, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

Manchester is a city of great contrast: the birthplace of the industrial revolution, now one of the fastest growing cites in Europe. As chair of the water safety partnership, David will explore some of the challenges including myths around ‘the pusher’, lessons from failure and how Manchester - from bar staff to the Mayor - are seeking to live up to the spirit and challenge of #MakeCharlieTheLast.

12:15 Global perspectives and lessons
Justin Scar, CEO, Royal Lifesaving Society Australia

WHO & Australian strategy perspectives. Challenges and opportunities for high income countries.

12:45 Approaching the four year point: opportunity and challenge
David Walker, Lesiure Safety Manager, RoSPA

In this session, we will consider the progress of the UK drowning prevention strategy. Delegates will have chance to reflect upon and inform our priorities as we head into the next delivery phase.

13:15 Lunch and networking

14:00 Leading maritime safety
Brian Johnson, CEO, Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Brian will present on the changes he has made to the vision for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and his support of drowning prevention and the recent publication of the ‘Managing Beach Safety guidance’.

14:25 Boats, Balls and Barbers. Engaging community leadership in suicide prevention
Dr Peter Aitken, Director of Research & Development, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Whilst overall Suicide rates have been falling over many years in the last two years there has been a worrying increase. Dr Aitken will explore the challenges that we face and the practical organisational and community steps that can be taken to address.

15:00 Q&A - Overview

15:15 Conference close, please join us for refreshments

Please note we reserve the right to adjust or amend the schedule without notice.


This year’s Water Safety Conference will be taking place at Glaziers Hall in central London.

9 Montague Close,
London Bridge,
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7403 3300


Getting to the event

Glaziers Hall is located on the South Bank alongside London Bridge and near Southwark Cathedral, and is easily accesible by road, river and public tranport.

 Travel by road

For access by road via Tooley Street pass under the tunnel into Montague Close. The entrance is on your right hand side. Via Borough High Street turn into Bedale Street, then turn right onto Cathedral Street. Continue driving past the Cathedral then turn right again onto Montague Close. The entrance is on your left hand side.

 Travel by train

If travelling via London Bridge underground station, take the 'Duke Street Hill' exit. Cross the road in front of you at the traffic lights and head towards London Bridge Hospital. Follow the pavement around the corner to the left. Continue under the tunnel and the entrance to Glaziers Hall is on your right.

 Travel by boat

For access via the Thames, on arrival at London Bridge City Pier turn right onto Queens Walk. Continue along the path behind London Bridge Hospital until you see the signpost above for Tooley Street. Turn left onto the pathway opposite the sign 'The Queens Walk', and you will reach Tooley Street. Turn right and continue under the tunnel. Glaziers Hall is on your right.

Who Should Attend?

The RoSPA National Water Safety Conference is recognised as the key annual multi-discipline update event for UK water safety professionals.

The event is suitable for anyone with responsibility for water safety, or managing sites or locations that feature water hazards.

Whatever capacity water safety enters your risk management remit – there will be relevant content and networking on offer.

Sponsor & Exhibit

If you're interested in showcasing your product or services at the conference, please contact Letty Hill – for further information.


If you are booking 5 or more delegates please email

Early day delegate fee:

- Member: £125 + VAT
- Non-Member: £145 + VAT

Early rate finishes October 7, 2019

Standard booking fee:

- Member: £155 + VAT
- Non-Member: £180 + VAT

Booking Information

  Book online

Contact Us

Events Team
+44 (0)121 248 2090
Contact form