Water Safety

©Paul McCambridge / MAC Visual Media


Swimming is a great all-round sport providing enjoyment and conditioning. But while swimming pools provide a safe controlled environment, the open water swimmer needs to be aware of the risks involved.

 NEVER SWIM ALONE Always swim with a buddy who is also a competent and proficient swimmer, any swimmer can experience unexpected cramp.

 TELL OTHERS If there is someone on shore tell them your swimming plans, state were you are going and when you plan to return.

 OBEY INSTRUCTIONS When swimming in patrolled areas or at an event, heed the safety advice. Be aware that there may be underwater obstacles, strong currents or rip tides.

 SEEK ADVICE In an unfamiliar area, ask advice about conditions, water quality, hazards or currents.

 NEVER DIVE INTO UNFAMILIAR WATER Always check the depth and for any obstacles.

 BE VISIBLE Wear a bright swimming cap, make yourself visible to any boats or crafts in the area.

 SWIM PARALLEL TO SHORE You can get back to safety more easily than if you swim out to sea or to the middle of a lake. On point to point swims try to choose points that keep you close to shore.

 FOOD AND DRINK Never swim within 2 hours of a meal and NEVER after ANY alcohol.

 WATCH THE WEATHER Don’t try to swim in very rough conditions, no matter how strong you think you are. It is very difficult to breathe or navigate in choppy water. In FOG you will lose you bearings and are not visible to others.

 KEEP WARM Body temperature drops extremely quickly in the water and after swimming you may experience a further drop, be sure to have warm clothes to change into and a warm drink after your swim.

 KNOW YOUR LIMITS Open water swimmers should have good swimming technique and fitness in the pool as a minimum, any doubts in your ability and you should think carefully.

There can be great joy and excitement in discovering a new place but always think before you swim.

Enjoy, and SWIM SAFE.

Further Information on Swimming Safe


Please note, Wild Swim is not able to assume legal responsibility to viewers of this blog. We have a passion for outdoor swimming of all types, all swimmers must be solely responsible for making their own assessment as to the risks involved in any particular swim, dip or paddle.

The decision to swim in any open water whether on this blog or otherwise must therefore be taken individually, and swimmers must not rely on views or information provided by the WildSwim WordPress Blog or its bloggers.

If you are in any doubt about the safety of a open water swim, dip or paddle, you should not take part.

1 thought on “Water Safety

  1. Hi Guys,

    this is a quite comprehensive and helpful list of what to do to stay safe out there in the open water, however, what I am missing from the list is the plentiful safety devices that are becoming mainstream and a necessity for open water swimming safety. I see them everywhere and I do not go out without it. ex: http://www.SaferSwimmer.eu

    Keep up the good work,

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