Local community delivers RLSS Water Smart Award

Volunteers from the Maritime Volunteer Service in Kingston-up-Thames and outdoor activity centre Albany Outdoors have joined forces to provide tuition and practical sessions to local secondary schools for the RLSS UK’s Water Smart Award.

The sessions are running on Fridays through July at Albany Outdoors’ facility on the banks of the Thames in Kingston.

Students are taught the basics of open water swimming safety including the risks of cold water shock and obstacles in or under the water. They then had the opportunity to practice self-rescue skills (float to live) and land-based methods of helping someone struggling in the water. This included shouting instructions, rope throwing and reaching with a suitable object while ensuring they don’t also fall in.

The Water Smart Award is a stand-alone award that covers the following:

  • Water safety awareness
  • Getting in and out of the water safely
  • Safely staying afloat
  • Safely moving in the water
  • Performing rescues safely

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.