RLSS UK aims to ensure that everyone has the knowledge to #EnjoyWaterSafely.

An understanding of the Water Safety Code is integral for all activities, but please read on for our top tips to stay safe when spending time in, on, or around water...

Staying Safe IN Water

Planning to go swimming? Whether you're heading to the pool, beach or open water beauty spot, make sure you're aware of the Water Safety Code and consider our advice for staying safe IN the water below...

  • Follow the Water Safety Code
  • Swim with others - it’s more fun! Plus, there will be someone to help should anyone get into trouble in the water
  • Choose lifeguarded venues
  • Read all signage before entering the water
  • Look around for dangers - are there any hazards you need to be aware of?
  • Heading to the beach? Ensure you know your beach flags
  • Never use inflatables in open water - save them for the pool!
  • Make sure you acclimatise to avoid cold water shock
  • In open water, plan your entry and exit points
  • If you get into trouble or feel tired, stay calm and float on your back

Staying Safe ON Water

From Stand Up Paddleboards to Kayaks, there are lots of wonderful ways to enjoy being ON the water, so it's important to know how to stay safe while doing so. Make sure you understand the Water Safety Code and consider our advice for staying safe on the water below...

  • Follow the Water Safety Code
  • Go with others and stay together - it's more fun and more safe!
  • Take steps to acclimatise – the water is often colder than you think
  • Always wear a floatation aid
  • Do not get caught out by the conditions - take note of local currents and wind direction
  • Know your limits - do not overexert yourself
  • Never set out in offshore winds as they can make it difficult to return to shore
  • Read all signage before entering the water
  • Take your phone in a waterproof pouch, and call 999 in an emergency


Staying Safe AROUND Water

Whether it's a stroll along the beach, a run beside the river or a scenic lakeside picnic, it's lovely to spend time near water. But with data from the National Water Safety Forum showing that in 2023, 50% accidental drowning fatalities never intended to enter the water, it's still important to know how to say safe when AROUND water. Please learn the Water Safety Code and read further advice below...

  • Always let someone know where you’re going and when you intend to get back
  • Make sure your phone is charged before setting off. Things can go wrong unexpectedly so always keep a means of calling for help with you
  • If at the coast, check weather and tides. Tide times and heights vary throughout the month, so check before you leave home
  • Try to stick to well-lit, high-traffic areas
  • Stay well clear of the edge. Slips and falls happen in all locations.
  • Never drink alcohol while near water, or walk near water when drunk. Alcohol reduces coordination and can impair a person’s judgement and reaction time, reducing inhibition and distorting the perception of risk.
  • If you see a person or animal in trouble, NEVER enter the water to attempt rescue. Call 999.
  • If you accidentally fall in, stay calm, float on your back and shout for help.

FREE Water Safety Booklet

Download our free water safety booklet for more information on how to keep you and your family safe all year round:

Water Safety Advice Booklet