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Water Safety

Spending time by the water can be fun, especially during the warm summer months. But it’s important to know how to keep yourself, and your friends safe.  

The Dangers 

Each year, around 400 people drown in the UK, with the majority of deaths occurring during June, July, and August. So, whether you’re a strong swimmer, or you’re just learning to swim, there are dangers to be aware of when entering any type of water: 

You should only ever swim in areas where lifeguards are present, such as swimming pools and beaches. Never swim in places such as quarries, rivers or beaches with no lifeguards present. 

Cold Water Shock (Hypothermia) 

Swimming in cold water may seem like a great way to cool off, but the UK waters are probably colder than you think and could cause Hypothermia (when the body gets so cold that it can’t warm itself up again)

The first signs of mild hypothermia include shivering and teeth chattering. If you experience these, get out of the water immediately and warm up with dry clothes and physical activity. Doing press-ups, star-jumps, or running up a nearby hill can help you warm up quickly. 

Click here to see more symptoms of Hypothermia 

Slipping on rocks 

Slippery rocks are a common hazard in outdoor swimming areas. Wet rocks can cause you to slip and potentially hit your head. Always move carefully and wear appropriate footwear to prevent falls. 

Jumping and Diving 

Always check the water’s depth before jumping or diving, even if you’ve been to the spot before. Water depths can change, and new obstacles like rocks, branches, or rubbish might have been carried downstream or dumped in. 

Look out for any “No Diving” or “No Swimming” signs, as they indicate unsafe conditions. Even if you’re planning to jump in feet first, ensure the water is deep enough and free of hidden hazards. 

Moving water/currents 

Be aware of the strength and direction of currents. Moving water can be deceptively powerful and may carry you away from safety. Even shallow water, if moving fast enough, can knock you over and sweep you away. So always think ahead: if you lose your footing or get swept downstream, where will you get out? Identify your emergency exits before entering the water. 


It’s important to enjoy swimming safely! Level up your swimming skills, stick with your friends, and only ever swim in areas where lifeguards are present. 

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