Water Safety

Diamond Swim Academy believe water safety to be a key factor in our lessons. Each term our swimmers will have a water safety week where they will practice potentially lifesaving techniques.

Water safety SAFE

 

 

ROYAL LIFESAVING SOCIETY – RLSS

Diamond Swim Academy deliver the Rookie Lifeguard Programme which is a RLSS programme. They are the leaders in the UK for Lifesaving.

 

The below is advice they have given to stay safe around different scenarios and areas of water.

 

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences.

 

Putting this into context, one person dies every 20 hours in the UK. Drowning is also the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK.

 

Water Safety At Home

Did you know that people can drown in as little as 2cm of water? The number of drownings that occur around the home are low compared to those at other locations. However, drownings around the home are also the most easily preventable.

Top Tips for Water Safety at Home

  • Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty
  • Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended). Empty the bath as soon as possible after use
  • Vulnerable adults and people who suffer from sudden seizures should consider using showers rather than baths

 

Water Safety On Holiday

Each year UK citizens drown on holiday abroad so being aware of the basic principles of water safety on holiday, combined with knowledge and understanding of the hazards, can increase enjoyment and significantly reduce the number of deaths each year.

People preparing for their summer holidays should ensure simple advice is followed by all members of the family.

Water Safety on Holiday Top Tips

  • When researching your holiday, or arriving at the destination if you haven’t yet done so, check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool/beach
  • Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean
  • Make sure the whole family can swim
  • Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
  • Never swim alone
  • Follow the pool rules
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
  • On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also be aware of dangerous rip-currents
  • Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water
  • Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
  • Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore

 

Water Safety At the beach

Top 10 beach safety tips

  • Seek advice from your travel agent when booking a holiday to ask if the beach is safe and whether trained lifeguards will be on duty
  • Be aware that the most common time for children to have accidents on holiday is within the first hour of a holiday when parents are unpacking and distracted. Parents should take care during this time to make sure that they know where their children are
  • When you have unpacked, visit the beach and look for yourself what the potential dangers are before going into the sea
  • While at the beach, never let your young children out of your reach –supervision is the key to preventing serious accidents
  • Always ask for local advice, for example from lifeguards, tourist information offices, local coastguard stations, or even local fishermen, on where and when it is not safe to stroll on the beach or enter the water
  • Do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater and coral
  • Water safety signage can be very different in different countries, so find out what local warning flags and signs mean – and adhere to them
  • Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – there have been drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea and get into trouble. Do not use them in open water. Use them in sheltered and confined spaces, such as rock pools
  • If you get stuck in quicksand or mud do not stand up. Lie down, spread your weight, shout for help and move slowly in a breaststroke action towards the shore
  • If you witness an emergency, whether it is in the UK or overseas, know how to call for help

Tides

  • In the UK tides are relatively regular and predictable, yet despite this fact every year a number of people are caught out by rapidly rising water and end up being trapped in isolated bays. If you intend to venture across any beach or bank affected by tidal water make sure you know when the incoming tide is expected and know where all the exits are.

British beach flag signs

  • It must be remembered that beach flag systems are different across the world. However, current discussions are taking place to hopefully co-ordinate the flags for the future.

Red – don’t go into the waterRed half over yellow – lifeguarded area – swim between the flags

Orange wind sock – shows the direction of the wind. If the wind is blowing out to sea do not go into the water on an inflatable (NB Advice is never to go into the sea on an inflatable)

Black and white quarters – surfing area, swimmers keep out

Red and white quarters – shark warning (unusual in this country)

Water Safety flags

Water Safety At The Swimming Pool

On average, more than 400 people drown in the UK each year. Nearly 60 of these are children and young people. We believe that the majority of drownings are preventable through good knowledge of water safety in swimming pools. Make sure that you and your loved-ones are not counted in next year’s drowning figures.

More UK children die in pools while abroad on holiday than in pools in the UK. Make sure you and others are safe in swimming pools in the UK and abroad.

 

Swimming Pool Safety Tips

  • Keep young children under constant supervision
  • Follow the pool rules (don’t dive into the shallow end)
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of the pool, especially at leisure pools and holiday resorts
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol

 

Water Safety in a Flood

More than 12% of the UK population live in areas at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea which can cause drowning. However, through flood safety education and knowing what to do before, during and after flooding, many of these drownings are preventable.

Whether there are swollen rivers or general floodwater on roads and pathways, it is vital people follow simple, common sense, steps during periods of flooding to help ensure they, and their families, stay safe.

 

It is often tempting to take a look at rivers at their peak but this can be dangerous, and drivers may take risks driving through floodwater, unaware of levels of depth. It is vital not to underestimate the power of floodwater.

 

Flood Safety Tips

  • Never try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock an adult over and two feet of water will float a car
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water orfloodwater – you may get swept away or be struck or caught on an object in the water
  • Never allow children or pets to go near or play in floodwater. It is hazardous and may be contaminated with chemicals
  • Keep an eye on weather reports for flooding in your area. Do not travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely necessary
  • Prepare aflood kit in case your home floods or you are trapped in a vehicle for any period– this can contain a change of clothing, wellies, waterproofs and blankets as well as a torch, charged mobile, radio, medication and a first aid kit and a list of useful numbers, including flood alert lines
  • How to manage a car in flood water
  • Call for help, remove seatbelt and release any children from their seats
  • Turn on all the lights and sound the horn to attract attention (only if this won’t delay your escape)
  • If the water level is low – open the windows and stay in the car
  • If the water level is high – escape out of the windows, sunroof or doors onto the roof of the car. Stay with the car. If the car starts to move quickly with the water flow, get off the car, stay upstream from the car, and swim vigorously to safety
  • If the water is entering the car – escape out of the windows, sunroof or doors (breaking windows if necessary). Stay upstream from the car, and swim vigorously to safety
  • If you cannot escape call and signal for help. Turn on all of the lights and sound the horn

 

Water Safety at Open Water Sites

Around 85% of accidental drownings occur at open water sites. Many of these drownings occur due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of open water safety. The basic principles of open water safety, combined with knowledge and understanding of the hazards, can increase enjoyment of open water and significantly reduce the number of incidents that occur each year.

Open water swimming takes place in outdoor bodies of water such as, lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs and quarries. Flat or still water is defined as water that has minimal movement, except for locally induced wind currents. Examples include lakes, lochs, ponds, quarry pool and reservoirs. Flat water found in lakes and lochs is the safest open water natural environment. However, water is by its very nature hazardous and care must always be taken when being near water margins.

 

Lakes and Lochs can vary considerably in size, but they are commonly large expanses of deep, cold water, formed when natural basins fill with water flowing from rivers and streams or from the water table.

 

Open Water Safety Tips

The conditions at open water sites change constantly:

  • Always look for warning and guidance signs
  • Swim parallel with the shore, not away from it
  • Avoid drifting in the currents
  • Do not enter fast flowing water
  • Be aware ofunderwater hazards
  • Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
  • Never enter the water after consuming alcohol
  • Only enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket for activities on the water or at the water’s edge (such as when boating or fishing)
  • Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help
  • If someone is in difficulty in the water shout reassurance to them and shout for help and call the emergency services (call 999 or 112)
  • Without endangering yourself see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy or anything that will float

Did you know that those that walk or run near water are at potential risk, as this group accounts for the largest proportion of UK drownings.

 

Top 5 Open Water Safety Tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about
  • When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank edges. They are often unstable and this can create slips, trips and falls
  • Try to always walk or run with a friend
  • Always let someone know where you’re going – take your mobile phone
  • Learn swimming and lifesaving skills

Don’t:

  • Swim at unsupervised (un-lifeguarded sites) including lakes, quarries reservoirs and rivers
  • Jump into the water until you have acclimatised to the water temperature
  • Jump into the water from heights or ‘tombstone’
  • Swim into deep water which will be colder

 

Do:

  • Swim at supervised (lifeguarded) sites
  • Swim parallel with the shore, where you can quickly get to safety
  • Swim with friends or family, so that you can help each other if you need to
  • Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming
  • Think about what you will do if something goes wrong
  • Contact a reputable outdoor pursuits or coasteering centre if you want to take part in more extreme activities

 

Dangers of open water include–

  • The height of the fall or jump if tombstoning
  • The depth of the water – this changes and is unpredictable
  • Submerged objects may not be visible
  • Obstacles or other people in the water
  • Lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue
  • The shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
  • Uneven banks and river beds
  • Water quality eg toxic algal blooms and industrial/agricultural pollution
  • All of these hazards can be controlled through proper organisation and planning.

 

If someone is in difficulty in the water –

  • Shout reassurance to them and shout for help and ensure the emergency services are on their way (call 999 or 112)
  • Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them, extend your reach with a stick, pole, item of clothing, lie down or stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy, part filled plastic container, ball or anything that will float.
  • Keep your eye on them all the time and shout reassurance urging them to propel themselves to safety.

 

Water Safety in the Winter

Don’t:

  • Swim at unsupervised (un-lifeguarded sites) including lakes, quarries reservoirs and rivers
  • Jump into the water until you have acclimatised to the water temperature
  • Jump into the water from heights or ‘tombstone’
  • Swim into deep water which will be colder

 

Do:

  • Swim at supervised (lifeguarded) sites
  • Swim parallel with the shore, where you can quickly get to safety
  • Swim with friends or family, so that you can help each other if you need to
  • Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming
  • Think about what you will do if something goes wrong
  • Contact a reputable outdoor pursuits or coasteering centre if you want to take part in more extreme activities

 

Dangers of open water include–

  • The height of the fall or jump if tombstoning
  • The depth of the water – this changes and is unpredictable
  • Submerged objects may not be visible
  • Obstacles or other people in the water
  • Lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue
  • The shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
  • Uneven banks and river beds
  • Water quality eg toxic algal blooms and industrial/agricultural pollution
  • All of these hazards can be controlled through proper organisation and planning.

 

If someone is in difficulty in the water –

  • Shout reassurance to them and shout for help and ensure the emergency services are on their way (call 999 or 112)
  • Without endangering yourself, see if you can reach out to them, extend your reach with a stick, pole, item of clothing, lie down or stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy, part filled plastic container, ball or anything that will float.
  • Keep your eye on them all the time and shout reassurance urging them to propel themselves to safety.

 

Cold Water Shock

Cold water shock – the facts

The effects of cold water shock are responsible for many of the drownings which occur in the UK every year, as the water temperature in the UK never gets warm enough. Cold water shock affects our ability to swim and self-rescue.

Signs of Cold Water Shock

  1. Initial immersion responses – Cold shock response (0–3mins)
  • Immediately after immersion in cold water, rapid cooling of the skin causes a number of instinctive and reactions including gasping, hyperventilation, restriction of blood flows, and panic.
  1. Short term responses – Loss of performance (3–30mins)
  • Following the cold shock response, the hands, feet, arms and legs start to cool and blood flow continues to be restricted. This causes a decrease in muscle strength and endurance leading to muscle fatigue and reduced control over body movements. If the casualty is unable to get out of the water or use a buoyancy aid, this will ultimately result in drowning.
  1. Long term responses – Hypothermia (30mins+)
  • Over time, significant heat lost causes the core body temperature to drop leading to hypothermia.

Water Safety For Anglers

Although angling can seem like a harmless activity, the dangers that large bodies of water pose should always be considered before grabbing your line. Tragically we see a number of anglers lose their lives to drowning each year. So, when taking to the river banks you should keep in mind the following points:

  • Always wear something that is designed to help you float, even if you can swim
  • Anglers shouldn’t wade in water if the river has a strong current. Always wear a floatation vest when wading
  • When you arrive at your spot, consider what you will do if you fall into the water and consider where you can get out
  • Take a mobile phone to call 999 if you see someone in trouble
  • Know where you are located so that you can direct the emergency services to your area if you need to
  • Know how toperform CPR and learn some basic lifesaving skills
  • Flooded wellington boots or waders make it very difficult to move and can be a significant hazard. Do you need to wear them?
  • Be aware of local water hazards such as weirs, strong currents, slippery or undercut banks etc.
  • Always try to set up in a safe position with even ground
  • Have a throw line with you and get experience in how to use it

Dr Cliff Nelson, RLSS UK’s Head of Water Safety Management, said: “People often don’t realise the dangers that rivers and open water pose. We want people to enjoy themselves, but look out for their safety and the safety of others when around water.

“When angling you should always ensure that you wear a buoyancy aid if you can’t swim, be trained in CPR and have a throw line on hand which you know how to use. These simple changes could help prevent drowning and keep you and others safe.

“The RLSS UK offers a fantastic National Water Safety Management Programme, making people aware of the dangers around large bodies of water and teaching them how to react in an emergency.”

The Water Accident and Incident database (WAID) statistics revealed that in 2014:

  • 14 anglers died from drowning
  • 9 died from angling in the ocean and 5 from angling inland
  • 40 per cent of people who drown never meant to end up in the water
  • Around 400 people died from accidental drowning in the UK every year

 

Water Safety in Residential Pool

Around 400 people drown in the UK each year. Nearly 60 of these are children and young people. We believe that the majority of drownings are preventable.

  • Children and weak swimmers should be closely supervised by an adult at all times and weak swimmers should stay within the pool’s recommended safety depths
  • Never swim alone
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
  • Control access to the pool by using suitable fencing, secure doors/gates and pool and/or gate alarms to monitor access to swimming pools where possible
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
  • Have easy access to suitable rescue aids such as a torpedo buoy, rope or reach pole (all available fromRLSS Direct)
  • Know what to do in an emergency – learn First Aid and CPR
  • Always advise guests to your pool of key safety advice
  • Always follow manufactures advice of the pool for maintenance and safety checks

 

 

DIAMOND SWIM ACADEMY has provided this fact sheet to ensure our swimmers and their family and friends have information to help them stay safe in and around water, where ever this may b