Drowning in the UK is amongst the leading causes of accidental death. In 2020, 242 people accidentally drowned – many of these people were taking part in everyday activities such as walking or running near water.

Due to these dangers, we urge you not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools.

Be Water Aware:

  • Pay attention to warning notices – if it says no swimming don’t swim
  • At the beach – if there is a lifeguard only swim if it is safe and between the flags as indicated
  • Always watch children – on the beach or around other natural bodies of water
  • Beware of currents – water may look calm but undercurrents, riptides etc. could pull you under
  • Cold water shock – the surface may feel warm, but below can be icy cold, numbing limbs
  • Never dive or tombstone – below the water surface maybe hazards such as rocks or pollution
  • Swimming competence – even a strong pool swimmer is not prepared for conditions in open water
  • Alcohol and swimming don’t mix – stay out of the water if you have been drinking
  • Never swim – in areas like quarries, canals or ponds or near power vehicles e.g. motor boats

  • After a night out avoid walking near water – you may not see trip hazards of even the water’s edge
  • Dog walkers – don’t throw sticks in to water, if you dog is swimming keep an eye on them
  • Never enter the water to try and save a dog – dog’s usually manage to scramble out
  • Fishing – make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are likely to return
  • Walkers and runners – wear appropriate footwear and stay clear of cliff tops and the water’s edge
  • Look out for trip or slip hazards – stick to proper pathways and pay attention to your footing
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone – if you are out alone, for use in an emergency

Useful links and further information