46% of drownings occur in the summer months and this rises to 75% amongst 13 – 17-year olds.
Rivers and Lakes/Lochs pose the greatest statistical risk as there are often hazards that the average person is equipped to handle and there is a lack of professional supervision.
Accidents are mostly preventable with the correct knowledge and judgment and here are our tips to staying safe in the water during the summer:
Is the area safe? Think about potential hazards - too deep, too shallow, currents, tides, underwater objects?
Enter slowly and carefully and never jump from heights.
Think carefully about your ability to splash or swim in cold outdoor water. 49% of those who lost their life were classified as swimmers*. Are you really a good swimmer?
Research local information, conditions - read local signs and speak to locals, including the lifeguards.
Supervision – over 70% of fatal accidents occur in the absence of professional supervision*. Seek lifeguarded areas and always make sure someone is available to raise the alarm.
Don’t go too far – enter the water slowly, stay within reach, stay within a standing depth and always be supervised.
Ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when inland and the Coastguard if at the coast. Don’t enter the water to rescue.
Be sure everyone in your group knows who to call in the event of an emergency. If you are abroad, be sure you know the correct number to call.
Fall in or become tired – stay calm, float on your back and call for help. Throw something that floats to somebody that has fallen in.
Make sure the whole family knows basic water safety and what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly. You can access FREE RLSS UK resources to help.
Resources for Parents
Download our Summer Water Safety Leaflet Download our Summer Water Safety Bookmark
*Source – RLSS UK Water Safety Insight Report
Teach your students lifesaving skills about water safety with our lessons for schools.
Our free online toolkit, designed to teach families skills to enjoy the water, safely.
More than 85 British Nationals drowned abroad in 2021. Whether holidaying abroad or at home, be sure to follow our advice to help ensure your family stays safe whilst having fun in, on or around water.
In the last 5 years, 50% of children aged 7 and under who accidentally drowned did so at home.
In your own pool, it’s important to ensure that children aren’t left unsupervised to ensure they stay safe in, on and around the water.
In the last 5 years, 25% of accidental drownings in the UK occurred at the beach, shore or coast
The term ‘cold water shock’ refers to a range of natural reactions that our bodies take to protect us when we enter cold water (although these reactions can sometimes work against us).