The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, has launched its first Open Water Festival, set to take place at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, on Saturday 26 September.

The Ragley Crawl will see participants swapping the swimming pool to take the plunge into open water at Ragley Hall’s lake for a day of light-hearted competition. 

The day will be bursting with fun family activities, stalls and refreshments all in the aid of drowning prevention. 

Open water endurance swimmer, Adam Walker, who has swum the seven oceans of the world, Olympian and physical activity expert to the stars, Professor Greg Whyte OBE and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, are also set to make an appearance and take part. 

RLSS UK Director, Adrian Lole said: “Open water swimming is the UK’s fastest growing sport and, as the leaders in water safety and lifesaving education we wanted to launch our very own open water swim.

“Around 400 people needlessly die from drowning in the UK every year and we want to ensure everyone of all ages can enjoy water safely. This is why we want to offer a fun open water swimming event that everyone can enjoy in a safe, controlled environment.” 

Ragley Crawl, allows swimmers to tackle a one-mile, half a mile or team relay course designed to encourage first time dippers to regular participants to get in the water and enjoy the freedom of the open water. Swimmers can also raise money for RLSS UK. All proceeds of the event will go towards drowning prevention work to ultimately save lives. 

RLSS UK has also organised a rookie raid, a 200m swim and 400m run aimed at eight to 12-year-olds. 

The one-mile (for anyone over 16) and half a mile swim (for anyone over 12) costs £22 per person. If you would like to enter a team for the relay race (3 x 400m) it costs £36 per team. Anyone aged between eight to 12-years-old that wants to take part in the rookie raid, a 200m swim and 400m run, costs £6 per person. This fee includes entry to the house and grounds of Ragley Hall. Non-swimmers (spectators and travelling supporters) will be charged £5.00 per person, a reduced entry fee for full access to the magnificent Ragley Hall and Ragley Estate. 

Olympic Swimmer, Mark Foster, said: “Open water swimming is exhilarating, liberating and it is growing fast. I encourage everyone to take it up as a sport in a controlled, lifeguarded area. I am really looking forward to attending and supporting RLSS UK.” 

Ragley Crawl will be lifeguarded by RLSS UK Lifeguards.