With the national lockdown restrictions easing across England from today and a warm spell forecast over the looming Easter holidays, the bodies have reiterated some top tips to ensure people enjoy the water safely.
More and more people have taken up open water swimming since the first national lockdown and British Triathlon, RLSS UK, and Swim England are keen that the risks are carefully considered before people head out.
British Triathlon, RLSS UK and Swim England have issued the following advice for anyone considering going open water swimming:
Plan your swim
- Think about the water temperature and weather.
- Plan your exit before you get into the water. Consider any currents, the tidal flow and wind direction.
- Adhere to social distancing requirements throughout your swim, including arrival, changing and post-swim.
- Look out for safety signs and online information/feedback. If a sign says ‘no swimming and/or ‘danger’, don’t swim there.
- Let someone in your household know where you are, what you are doing and expected time to return.
Have the right equipment
- Wetsuits help to manage exposure to cold water, they help insulate against the cold and keep you buoyant in open water.
- Wear a brightly coloured swim hat.
- Take a bright yellow tow float or orange tow float.
Know your limits
- Reduce the impact of cold water shock, acclimatise in the home environment and enter the water slowly.
- All open water swimming should take place in water at 11 degrees or above unless you are an experienced and competent cold-water swimmer.
- Unless you are a competent open water swimmer, swim under the supervision of lifeguards.
- Never swim alone in open water. The temperature and choppiness of the water can make things difficult.