With the hot weather set to continue this week and the losses of life to the water hitting the headlines - the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) asks what price people are willing to pay to cool off?

Already this week, we have read about one young man tragically losing his life to the water in London, another man drowning in the Cotswolds and there are reports of other missing people in the River Thames. Every year we see seasonal peaks in the drowning figures as people young and old, seek ways to cool off and enjoy the water.

With the school holidays now firmly underway and many of us heading abroad for a deserved rest, it is the local bodies of water that we take for granted that could prove fatal. The rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs that we walk past every day, have played in since we were young, that feel so familiar to us, are the very same ones that harbour hazards that can cause even the most seasoned of swimmers, to get into trouble – cold water shock, pollutants, currents, debris and fast-flowing water, all exist and are largely invisible,  unpredictable and deadly. 

Rather than hide our waterways behind barriers and tell people that they ‘must not’ or ‘cannot’ go in, RLSS UK encourages the public to be ‘water aware’, use their common sense around water and follow the Water Safety Code, so they can have fun in the water but keep themselves, friends and family, safe.

Created in partnership with the RNLI, the Water Safety Code offers simple advice to help avoid a summer of avoidable heartbreak and loss of life to the water.


Whenever you are around water:

STOP AND THINK: Look for the dangers. Always read the signs.

STAY TOGETHER: Never swim alone. Always go with friends or family. Only swim where there is a lifeguard.

In an emergency:

CALL 999 OR 112: Shout for help and phone 999 or 112.

FLOAT: If you fall in, float or swim on your back. Throw something that floats, to anyone who has fallen in the water.

Click here to view the water safety code.

Click here to view all our water safety advice.