Stay Safe in Open Water


We all know how dangerous it can be to swim in open water. Yet every year we hear stories in the news about incredibly sad deaths of young people during the hot summer months and the devastating impact this has on their family, friends and the local community.

Each year in the UK and Ireland over 700 people die from accidental drowning - that's equivalent to 1 person every 10 hours! More than 80% of all accidental drownings are male and those who drown tend to be 20-29 years old. Even strong swimmers are at risk.

Use the Water Safety Code to stay safe around water.

Keep your family and friends safe around water. Whenever you are near water:

Stop and think

Look for the dangers and always read the signs.

Stay together

Never swim alone. Always go with friends or family.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

Never swim under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

Think about the temperature

The water will be much colder than you think and can send your body into shock, making it difficult to breath and causing cramping and even death.


In an emergency:

Call 999 or 112

Shout for help.


If you call in, float or swim on your back. Throw something in that floats to anyone who falls in.


We know water can be dangerous, so why do we still put ourselves at risk?

Research shows the main causes of drowning are:

  • Trying to save others or pets
  • Falling in unexpectedly
  • Taking part in water sports
  • Swimming after consuming alcohol
  • Showing off in front of friends.

Watch this video by the Royal Life Saving Society UK. It may make you think twice about entering open water and could save your life.


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