We've compiled the best water safety tips we could find.
Follow this advice and you have a better chance to enjoy your swimming and other water sports.
- Don't swim or surf directly after a meal.
- Don't swim or surf under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Know your physical and mental limits.
- Keep warm and use safety equipment where necessary.
Be Smart on the Beach
- Choose a beach where lifeguards are on duty.
Always swim or surf under supervision or with a friend.
- Find out when and where it is safe to swim.
If you are unsure of conditions, ask the lifeguards and follow their advice.
- Never run or dive into unknown water.
Even if you have checked before, conditions can change.
- Don't take inflatables into the sea, you could be carried away by wind and tide.
- If you get into trouble in the water, don't panic.
Raise your arm for help, float and wait for assistance.
- If you get cought in a current or undertow, stay calm.
Don't try to swim against it, swim parallel to the beach.
Signal for help.
Follow the Flags and Signs
- Look for signs or flags telling you where it is safe to swim.
- Read and obey the signs.
Never swim where a sign says not to.
Don't swim when the Red flag is flying.
- Swim between the Red over Yellow flags. Bodyboarders belong there too.
- Surfers stay between the black and white flags.
- Bodyboarders and surfers should stay with their board and not go out too far.
- Ask the lifeguards if in doubt.
- On boats use lifevests. Wear clothes underneath to avoid chafing.
- You should never fool around or run beside water;
you might trip and fall in.
- Take care on the riverbank; it can be slippery or crumble.
- Keep away from the edge of canals; the water is often very deep.
- Beware of locks and weirs; the water flows very quickly.
- Always let people know where you or your team are going
and when you'll be back.
- Ensure you go with friends.
Even if they can't help out, they can go and get help.
- Never go swimming, fishing or boating on your own,
or there will be nobody to help if you get into trouble in the water.
- Practise swimming in clothes and lifevest. Be prepared.
If you see Someone in Trouble
- Keep calm and think before you act.
- Try to get help - shout "help, help" as loud as you can.
- Reach out with a stick, a pole, a towel or clothing to pull the person to the edge of the water.
Lie down and hold onto something to make sure you don't get pulled in.
- If you can't reach the person and no-one comes when you shout for help,
find the nearest telephone and ring 112 in Europe or 911 in USA.
- Never jump into the water yourself.
This is only the last resort if you're fully trained.