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If you swim outdoors in the sea, a pool or river to keep cool, make sure it’s a safe place to swim. Look out for warning signs and hidden dangers by following the tips below:

  • Wild water – swimming in natural waters is different from swimming pools. Be wary of strong currents and cold temperatures
  • Look before you leap – check for safe exit points before entering. Steep and slippery banks can make if difficult to get out of the water
  • Hidden dangers – underwater hazards include rocks, glass, refuse, and pollution
  • Rock bottom – avoid jumping from heights, especially bridges. The water below can be shallow with hidden dangers
  • Don't drink and drown – avoid alcohol or drugs while swimming. They impair your abilities and judgment
  • Avoid floodwaters – never swim during floods
  • Raise the alarm – if someone is in trouble, call 999. Never attempt a rescue yourself

Children should never swim in these areas unaccompanied – it is safest to swim where there are lifeguards. Young children need constant supervision around water, they can drown in less than 2 inches of water.

Organised open water swimming sessions take place all year round at Netherton reservoir. See the Netherton Open Water Swimming website for more details.

More advice is available from the National Water Safety Forum and the Outdoor Swimming Society.