Open Water Safety
Around 85% of accidental drownings occur at open water sites, such as lakes, lochs, rivers, canals, reservoirs and quarries.
Many of these drownings happen as a result of a lack of knowledge or understanding about open water safety. Read our safety advice to stay safe if you're planning to swim outdoors.
Open Water Safety Tips
- 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 of underwater hazards
- Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
- Never enter the water after consuming alcohol
- Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket for activities on the water or at the water’s edge, such as 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, provide reassurance, shout for help and call 999
- See if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure
- Check to see if there's ring buoy or something that floats that you can throw out to them