Water Safety

 During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning.

To keep yourself safe, when you are in, on or beside water, always follow the Water Safety Code.

The Water Safety Code

Spot the dangers!

Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water.

The dangers of water include:

  • Very cold temperatures
  • Hidden currents
  • It can be deep
  • It is difficult to estimate depth
  • There may be hidden rubbish like shopping trolleys or broken glass
  • It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
  • No lifeguards
  • Water pollution may make you ill

How You Can Help

You may be able to help yourself and others if you know what to do in an emergency. If you see someone in difficulty, tell someone, use your mobile, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999, ask for the Police. 

Rescuing a drowning person is the last resort and you should do everything possible to avoid getting into a dangerous situation in the first place. If you have to make a rescue attempt, think of your own safety first and never put yourself in danger. If the rescue is too dangerous, wait until the emergency services arrive.

Get Help

The first thing you must do if you see someone in trouble in the water is to shout for help; send someone to ring 999.


With a long stick, a scarf, clothes or anything else. Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled in.


A rope is best - you can then pull in the person. Otherwise throw something that will float - a ball, a plastic bottle, a lifebuoy; this will keep the person afloat until help arrives.

Once Rescued

Keep the casualty warm and make sure they get medical help.