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Dr Jenny Smith named among world’s leading voices for drowning prevention

Chichester lecturer voted as leading voices for prevention of drowning

A UNIVERSITY of Chichester lecturer has been voted as one of the leading voices for the prevention of drowning: the third most common cause of unintentional death worldwide.

Dr Jenny Smith, from the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, was named on a list of influential women for her work in raising awareness of the global concern, which causes 360,000 fatalities every year. The index was created for the 2017 World Conference on Drowning Prevention to increase visibility of women who are advancing research and practice.

Dr Smith, whose specialises in psychology, was lead author on a paper presented at the conference that showcased the findings of her latest research on the mental demands and challenges of lifeguarding. She said: “It was a real honour for my work to be recognised in this global initiative for women who are world leading in the area of drowning prevention.”

Drowning accounts for seven per cent of all injury-related fatalities, according to the World Health Organisation. The index created at the conference features 36 significant women, including Dr Jenny Smith, to reflect the 360,000 worldwide deaths each year.

The influential figures, listed by surname, were nominated on Twitter with the criteria being that they play an active role at the forefront of drowning prevention. Dr Smith, whose research was funded by the Royal Lifeguarding Society UK, added: “Global figures underestimate the actual public health problem of drowning so further study of this kind is essential.”

Dr Jenny Smith at the 2017 World Conference on Drowning Prevention

Speaking of her investigation the senior lecturer said: “A 2014 World Health Organisation report showed that lapses in supervision is one of the major risk factors for drowning. Even veteran lifeguards experience mental fatigue which is usually caused by prolonged periods of demanding cognitive activity”

To find out more about Dr Jenny Smith and her paper, entitled examining lifeguarding expertise: the impact of the rotation of time on the efficiencies of hazard detection, go to Alternatively for more about the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences visit