wild swimming water safety for adults and teenagers
Wild Swimming is great fun but remember no one is drown proof.
A life lost in a swimming incident will impress no one.
It's not worth dying for a swim!
The advice given here is intended for those who are new to wild swimming and tempted to give it a try for the first time.
1 Learn to swim well
With no lifeguards to watch over you and friends who are easily distracted, you have to look after yourself even when swimming with others.
2 Don't drink and drown
On a hot day you might be dieing for a pint and and fancy a swim in cool refreshing water. Don't drink and drown. Alcohol and drugs boost confidence but drastically reduce ability.
3 Don't swim alone
Stay close enough to others to give and receive help if needed.
4 Clean and clear
Swim in clear unpolluted water. Don't let weeds or submerged rocks take you by surprise. Keep well clear of waterfalls and white water.
5 Look Before you leap
Dive into water that is too shallow and you could break your neck and end up paralyzed or worse.
Check the waters depth first and then keep a lookout for others so that you don't dive or jump onto them.
6 Protect your feet
Wear foot protection. Surf shoes or trainers are ideal. They soon dry and may even smell sweeter after a dip.
7 Adujust to the cold
Let your body adjust to cold water and stay close to the bank or shore. If you get cold GET OUT and warm up before cramp or cold exhaustion rob you of options and the ability to keep swimming.
8 Have an escape plan
In the sea: A riptide is like a hidden river that runs out to deep water. If swept out to sea, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the rip. THEN start swimming directly back to land staying clear of the rip. If you get tired float on your back for a while and take a rest.
In a river: If swept downstream float on your back with your feet in front of you toes to the surface. Bend your knees so that your feet will cushion you should you run into an obstruction (without jarring your spine). Move towards an eddy (the inside of a bend) where the current is slack to get out.
Ask locals where it is safe to swim and about any hidden dangers or currents.
Teach younger children to swim safe
Your choice: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, anyone who decides to swim in open water should remember that this, like other things we chose to do is not entirely without risk. Neither the author nor the publishers will be held legally or financially responsible for any accident, injury, loss or inconvenience sustained as a result of the information or advice contained here.