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Water Safety

When the weather’s hot you may be tempted to go for a swim in a local river or other wild swimming areas.

The water may look inviting but it could prove dangerous to even the strongest of swimmers. To help you stay safe this summer, if you are taking a dip please follow this advice:

Swim Smart

  • Research or ask around for the best swimming spot
  • Pay attention to hazard signs and life buoys
  • Think about flow and temperature – assess the risks before getting in
  • Avoid swimming after heavy rain
  • Always swim with others
  • Avoid weirs, locks, pipes and sluices
  • Know where you are going to exit the water

Swim Safe

  • Wade in, don’t jump or dive. River depth is always changing, and you never know what is below the surface – trees, rocks, even shopping trolleys…
  • Keep a close eye on children
  • Know your limits, stay close to the bank and within your depth if you are not sure
  • Be boat aware – wear a bright tow-float and a bright swim hat
  • Swim Sober – drugs and alcohol can limit the ability of even the most experienced swimmers and increase the risk of drowning
  • Be respectful of other people using the waterways and riverbanks including anglers, kayakers and boaters.
  • Float to Live – lean back and use your arms and legs to stay afloat, get control of your breathing and then call for help

Don’t be a hero

  • Learn about water safety techniques and Float to Live
  • If you see someone in trouble in the water dial 999 or 112
  • Look for a flotation device nearby and throw it to them
  • Shout instructions to help them stay afloat – lean back and use arms and legs to stay afloat
  • Do not attempt a rescue without the correct training, experience or equipment.

Remember there are no lifeguards wild swimming, and there might not be a phone signal.

Stay safe, be aware, be wise #RespectTheWater.

If you have children or haven’t had much experience with swimming, consider making a splash at your local swimming pool – the water’s warm and clear, and you’ll have lifeguards on hand to keep you safe.

For more information on swimming outdoors please visit: