With school summer holidays now under way for families across the UK, many of us will be counting down the days until we step on a plane for potentially the first time since pre-covid. However, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is asking families if they are up to date on their water safety knowledge. 

It is feared that we will see more tragedies overseas in the coming months, as we have seen in previous years, as families head abroad to enjoy the sun, sea and swimming pools.  

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said: "Every year during the summer we see a sharp rise in the number of accidental drownings not only in the UK but also with UK citizens abroad. Unfortunately we have already this year seen a number of drownings of both adults and children who were enjoying their holiday abroad and we do not want to see any more over the summer period. 

“We understand how exciting a summer holiday can be but we want to ensure that families long awaited trips do not turn to the unimaginable for all of the wrong reasons. We are encouraging families to ensure that they take responsibility for their own water safety and enjoy their time on holiday but be safe whilst doing so.” 

Our advice is clear, that those preparing for their summer holidays should ensure the following simple tips are understood by all members of the family: 

  1. You are your family’s lifeguard
    Lifeguard standards differ outside of the UK and Ireland. Always supervise children and keep them within arms’ length. 
  2. Do your research
    Check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool/beach and know what to do and who to call in an emergency. 
  3. Do not use inflatables in open water
    Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are a high number of incidents where people on inflatables are blown out to sea.  
  4. Make sure the whole family can swim and knows basic water safety
    Take our free, online Lifesaver Lifechanger toolkit. 
  5. Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs
    Find out what local warning signs and flags mean. 

Lee continued: “We want to help families enjoy water safely with our summer water safety information. We truly believe that people can be equipped with the right knowledge around water safety, and as a result we won’t need to see the fatalities we currently are seeing with accidental drownings both in the UK and abroad.”