ALMOST a year after two young men drowned in a lake near Malvern within a week of each other, Mid-Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff has thrown his support behind a charity working to prevent tragedies on the water.

In July last year 17-year-old Russell O'Neill of Ronkswood, Worcester, died at Gullet Quarry, near Castlemorton, followed just days later by 22-year-old Justas Juzenas of Three Crosses Road, Ross-on-Wye.

Sir Peter – who was knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours – has backed the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) ahead of Drowning Prevention Week, which begins tomorrow.

The charity works to educate people on keeping safe on the water and offers training on lifesaving skills.

Sir Peter said: “Worcestershire has seen a significant number of drowning tragedies in recent years and this local charity, based just across the border in Warwickshire, deserves to be supported in its vital work.”

The charity’s president Peter Moyes said 400 people in the UK drown every year – about one every 20 hours – and more than 30 drowned in the space of just seven weeks last summer.

“(We) can’t thank Peter Luff enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round, especially to get water safety education taught in all schools,” he said.

For more information on RLSS UK call 01789 773 994 or visit