Open Water Safety is something everyone should be aware of at any time of the year, during the hottest of days aswell as the coldest of days.

There were 277 deaths in the UK from accidental drowning in 2021 in inland and coastal locations. 40% of people who lost their lives had no intention of entering the water, with slips, trips and falls being the main cause of them entering the water. Many others underestimate the risk of jumping into water where unseen hazards and cold water can endanger even the strongest swimmers.

Even on a warm day the temperature in open water can remain very cold, causing cold water shock, a physical reaction which can make it difficult to control breathing, cause panic and make it difficult to swim.

If you do find yourself in difficulty in the water, people are urged not to panic and ‘Float To Live’. This means leaning back in the water and
spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, control your breathing, when the effects of cold water shock have passed call out for help or swim to safety.

If someone is in trouble in water, call 999. At the coast ask for the coastguard. If you are inland, ask for the fire service. It’s important people call for help, rather than entering the water to attempt a rescue, as this can often result in emergency services needing to find and rescue more people from the water

Below are a number of links providing advice around Open Water Safety, including campaigns, information and videos.


We will continue to update this page with Open Water Safety Information as it is received.

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