Drowning in the UK is amongst the leading causes of accidental death. In 2015, 321 people accidentally drowned – nearly 50% 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