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Date posted 24 Jun 2021

Drowning Prevention Week is the perfect time to talk about safety around water and why it’s an important part of our swimming lessons.

Learning to swim is fun and will ensure a lifetime of feeling confident in the water. That said, everyone should respect the power of water and be mindful of the risks to ourselves and others.

Enjoying travelling across a body of water under your own steam is the focus of swimming lessons. We will teach you front crawl for speed and efficiency and breaststroke for a leisurely swim while enjoying the view. Athletes will learn to perform skilful turns while little ones will progress from confidence boosting arm bands.

Our talented swimming teachers will also help their classes to develop potentially life saving skills. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you might learn and why.

 

Calling the Emergency Services (999)

If you see someone in trouble in the water the first thing you should do is call 999, explain the situation and give them your location. They will send the Coast Guard, Fire and Rescue or a Rescue Boat depending on where you are.

Do you get in yourself to rescue?

The answer is No! It’s very tempting to jump in and rescue a person or animal in distress but you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 999, direct the person to a point of safety they might not be able to see, try and reach them from the shore or throw them something that floats.

Treading water 

Treading water is a technique which involves moving your arms and legs in a way that will keep you in one place with your body upright and your head above the water. It’s an important skill that will aid confidence and keep you safe.

Why might you need to tread water?

  • Staying upright in deep water, keeping your head out of cold or dirty water.
  • Maintaining your position in open water to re-gain your bearings or await rescue.
  • If you get out of breath, swallow water or lose your swim flow it’s a useful skill for stopping and getting back your composure.

Floating 

Having the tools to float on the water for a long time could save your life in an emergency. There are few styles of floating, but the key is to relax and stay as motionless as you can.

  • Horizontal Back Float (Star float) – this method uses a small amount of energy. You lie on your back with arms out at the side and straight legs.
  • HELP or heat escape lessening position – Draw your knees to your chest and arms to sides, hands hugging knees. This reduces heat loss from groin, head/neck and ribcage/armpits.

Reach rescues

A reach rescue is where a by-stander would use a long implement such as a long stick, a scarf or a pair of trousers to reach over to the person struggling and pull them to shore. You would make sure you were in a stable, low position to avoid being pulled into the water yourself.

Throw rescues 

A classic throw rescue would be launching a life buoy at the person in difficulty to keep them afloat until rescue comes. A rope would also be ideal as it could be used to pull them in too. Alternatives for a throw rescue include a beach ball or large plastic bottle.

If you see someone in trouble in the water the first thing you should do is call 999, explain the situation and give them your location. They will send the Coast Guard, Fire and Rescue or a Rescue Boat depending on where you are.

 

How to stay safe in and around water

Having fun in the water is a wonderful way to spend your time but you MUST be aware of the dangers.

Over 400 people drown accidently in the UK and Republic of Ireland every year and a great many more have experiences which result in life changing injuries.

 

Always follow ‘The Water Safety Code’!!

Stop and Think

Take the time to look at your surroundings, assess the dangers such as cold water and pay attention to safety signs. Researching a lake or beach where you are planning to swim is a fantastic idea.

Stay Together

Always swim with friends or family. Even better, only swim at life-guarded venues.

Call 999

Ask for Fire and Rescue if inland and the Coastguard if you’re by the sea. DO NOT get in the water to attempt a rescue yourself.

Float

Trying to swim to safety can bring on cold water shock and waste energy. Stay calm, keep calling for help and float.