Lee Heard, Charity Director, gives us some top tips to enjoy water safely this summer:

"Every year during the summer we see a sharp rise in the number of accidental drownings in the UK as many people look to cool off on hot summer days in one of the countries waterways. We also unfortunately see more incidents reported whilst families holiday abroad and see loved ones get into difficulty in the water, which can result in more tragedies. I deeply regret to say we have already seen a number of drowning both here and of UK citizens abroad.

We want to help families enjoy water safely with our summer water safety information. We truly believe that people can then be equipped with the right knowledge, and as a result we won’t need to see the fatalities we currently do from accidental drownings.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has some simple and easy to follow tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer, whether you are on holiday in the UK or venturing further afield. Taking these simple precautions will not only give you peace of mind knowing that you have taken the appropriate steps to protect your family, but will also mean that your long awaited holiday does not turn into the unimaginable for all of the wrong reasons.


Top 5 Tips:

  1. Look out for Lifeguards
    Lifeguards are professionally trained to keep you and your family safe whilst you are enjoying the water. Always find a lifeguarded swimming site and if a lifeguard is not present, remember that you are your family’s lifeguard – always supervise children and keep them within arm’s length.
  2. Remember it’s colder than it looks
    Open water and inland water is often much colder than you think it might be and cold water can affect your ability to swim and self-rescue – understanding cold water shock is vital, read more about cold water shock.
  3. Don’t go too far
    Ensuring you are close to the shore means you can either be spotted more easily or return to shore yourself if needed.
  4. Remember it’s stronger than it looks
    Currents in the water can be very strong. If you find yourself caught in a riptide resist the urge to swim against it, you will tire very quickly. Swim with the current and call for help.
  5. Never swim alone
    Always bring a friend when you go swimming as if something goes wrong you have someone there to help.

Now you have read our top five summer water safety tips, make it your responsibility to share these tips with your family and friends so you can all enjoy your summer holidays.

We have a fantastic Lifesaver • Lifechanger toolkit which is free for families to allow you to discover skills to enjoy water safely.

The above tips are not only vital when on holiday but also if you ever plan to go swimming in open water. We also have some more tips specific for water safety whilst on holiday which are great for you and your family to ensure you have done all you can to prepare for your holiday.

Water Safety Holiday 10 Tips:

  1. Do your research
    What safety arrangements are in place for any water-based activity? Is there lifeguard cover at the pool or beach? Who should you call in an emergency?
  2. Do not use inflatables in open waters
    We know that lilos and rubber rings can provide fun whilst on holiday but theses should be kept to the pool only and not used in open water – there are a high number of incidents each year where inflatables are blown out to sea.
  3. Make sure the whole family can swim and knows basic water safety
    Our free toolkit is a great place to start, put it on your holiday to-do list!
  4. Check bathing sites for hazards
    Be sure to check the safest place to swim and always read the signs, remember beach flags and local signs may differ to those we have in the UK.
  5. Follow the pool rules
    Ensure that you and your family check the rules that apply to each pool location and follow them, remember they are there to keep you safe.
  6. Familiarise yourself with the pool
    Check the depth, water flow and layout and be sure to let your children know where is safe for them to swim and where is not depending on their swimming ability, but always swim with them.
  7. Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
    Alcohol impairs your judgment which means you are more likely to take risks and get in trouble, it also limits muscle ability and numbs the senses making simple movements like swimming much harder. Alcohol also slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  8. Check the tide
    Check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also be aware of dangerous rip-currents.
  9. Never swim near rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
    You might not be aware of the dangers underneath the water and things may appear further away than they are so be sure not to take the risk of swimming around theses areas.
  10. Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore
    Ensuring you swim parallel to the shore means that you can keep track of where you are and not end up swimming further than you anticipated and then feeling tired when you need to return to shore – always stay close to shore to avoid any risks.

By following our safety advice and ensuring your families understand water safety will contribute to you having a fantastic summer holiday. We want everyone to enjoy being in, on, or around water but to do this safely.

Happy holidays from RLSS UK."

Download the Lifesaver • Lifechanger toolkit