Swim Safe: teaching children to stay safe in open water

At H2Open we take the view that it’s far better to teach people how to stay safe in open water rather than to trying to stop them swimming. It’s therefore encouraging to see that Swim Safe, a programme jointly run by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), will once again be running this summer at beaches around the UK and in the Lake District.

Swim Safe sessions are provided free to children aged 7-14 and include a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard followed by in-water tuition with a swimming teacher. The only pre-requirement is that the child should be able to swim 25m (the national curriculum requirement). Wetsuits and swimming hats are provided for the sessions.

The programme started in 2013 at Bude and this year will run in 13 locations including Plymouth, Jersey, Poole, South Shields, Bude, Scarborough, the Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre in North Wales, Barry Island, the Isle of Man and Penzance. In addition, there is a Swim Safe For Schools programme, which provides exclusive sessions for local school pupils during the summer term. So far over 11,600 children have taken part.

To find out more or to register your child for a Swim Safe session see:

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

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.