10 Safer Summer Swimming Guidelines
As the temperatures rise in the summer months the attraction of being close to the water and being in water increases. If you are heading into the water to cool off do keep yourself and your friends safe by following these 10 safer summer swimming guidelines:
- Alcohol and safe swimming don’t mix – Never swim after taking alcohol or drugs.
- Take a friend, have a plan for your day, and your swim and swim within your capabilities.
- Be aware of high drops and falls – If you don’t know the depth of water or the risk of unwater obstacles such as rocks, don’t jump in.
- Check out local hazards – These include tides, rips, currents, weirs, waterfalls. Have a look for information from local notices, lifeguards, swim groups. When at the beach, swim where there are lifeguards.
- Be aware of the water depth – varying depths and sudden drops could be dangerous to swimmers who suddenly slip under the water unexpectedly.
- Be extra vigilant with children and weaker swimmers. Watch vigilantly at all times and use appropriate lifejackets. Beware of the dangers of using inflatables and floating rafts.
- Never put yourself at risk, if you see someone else in trouble call 999. More advice from RLSS is below.
- Be aware of hazards caused by watercraft, keep a constant lookout. Use a Puffin hi-viz tow float for increased visibility to other water users.
- Acclimatise – colder waters can cause a gasp reflex and panic. Enter the water slowly and use slow controlled breathing.
- If you get into trouble or in distress don’t thrash, FLOAT. Lean back outstretch your arms and legs and control your breathing. Ensure you and your loved ones know how to float.
It’s great getting out in the water in the warmer summer months but the best place to start is to swim regularly, year-round indoors or outdoors, its keeps up your swim fitness and expands your experience. Join your local swimming pool or get involved with a local outdoor swimming group. Swimming is safe if you respect yourself and the water, just keep swimming.