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Water safety

Respect the water and remember:

If you fall in the water – Float to live.

If you see someone in trouble:

If you are going to the beach:

When considering swimming in any water:

Being outside and enjoying the water is great for both physical and mental health and well-being; however, we need to respect the water and know what to do if things go wrong.

If you are in trouble in the water, float to live. Lie on your back with your arms and legs like a star. Once your breathing is calmer, you can either call for help or continue swimming.

If you see someone in trouble in the water, never enter the water yourself. Encourage them to float, if possible, throw them something to hold onto, stay with them on the bank/shore where you can see them, and encourage them to continue floating. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard (if at the coast) or fire and rescue service (if inland). Consider downloading the What3Words app on your smartphone to be able to give an accurate location.

Talk to your children about water safety. Encourage younger children to practice “float” on dry land or in a swimming pool, and make sure older children/teenagers – who are maybe more independent – understand the risks and what to do in an emergency.

Whatever you are doing:

Know the risks

Cold water shock: if you enter water suddenly, the cold water can cause your blood vessels to close, which causes your heart to work harder and make your blood pressure go up. It can also cause an involuntary gasp of breath and an increase in your breathing rate, which can cause panic and an increased chance of inhaling water. This can happen to anyone of any age or swimming ability. Cold Water Shock – Water Safety Tips – Know The Risks (rnli.org)

Currents and tides: be aware of tides and currents, including rip currents which can be hard to spot. Currents can occur in all bodies of water, including lakes and quarries as well as rivers and the sea. Tides Can Be Dangerous – Know the Risks – Beach Safety (rnli.org) Rip Currents – Water Safety Advice And Drowning Prevention (rnli.org)

Underwater hazards: there may be unseen underwater hazards such as rocks, vegetation and rubbish.

Other hazards: avoid swimming near locks, weirs, deep water such as quarries, piers, breakwaters, harbours, boats etc.

Alcohol: never go into the water after drinking alcohol and take care when near water. Alcohol – Know the risks (rnli.org)

Swimming alone: always swim with someone else or have someone on shore watching you.

There are many ways to enjoy the water apart from swimming such as fishing, walking near water, being on the water with SUPs, kayaks and boats. The RNLI have lots of safety advice for all users of the water Choose your activity – Safety advice (rnli.org)

When you’re at the beach

When considering swimming in any water: Open Water Swimming Safety | Royal Life Saving Society UK ( RLSS UK )

Further advice can be found at:

RNLI: Know the risks (rnli.org)

RLSS: Summer holidays may be booked but are you hot on water safety? | Royal Life Saving Society UK ( RLSS UK )

The above advice is taken from RNLI and RLSS websites.





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