Open water swimwear brand Selkie Swim co and partner the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) are sending out some safety advice to all open water swimmers, experienced or otherwise, to be careful when swimming in local rivers, lakes and seas as we head into spring.
Open water swimming has become increasingly popular and with so many people looking to push their boundaries and explore the outdoor waters, Selkie Swim and RLSS wanted to give some safety advice for those interested, to ensure people are being extra careful during the colder temperatures.
Below is some advice that Selkie Swim, in conjunction with the RLSS, is issuing amidst the rise in popularity of open water swimming, with a particular focus on the colder temperatures:
- Don’t swim alone – make sure you are in pairs or in a team.
- Swim at supervised (lifeguarded) sites.
- Look out for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming.
- Acclimatise yourself so you don’t suffer from cold water shock, which can make it difficult to swim or get out of the water.
- Wear the right clothing – for a beginner, wear a wetsuit. More experienced swimmers can brave a costume or swim pants.
- Take a tow float/bag – this will keep your important belongings safe and dry, whilst also helping as an aid if you find you are struggling in the water.
- Make sure you have a safe and easy entrance and exit point into/out of the water, so that you don’t find yourself slipping in or struggling to lift yourself onto dry land.
- Layer up – this is very important, especially when the water temperatures are as low as they currently are. Make sure as soon as you get out that you layer up and get warm quickly.
- Drink plenty of water and take a hot drink – it is important to stay hydrated, and when you are out of the water it is a good idea to have a hot drink with you that will help you warm up quicker.
Jeremy Laming, Co-Founder of Selkie Swim Co, said: “Whilst it is great that open water swimming is becoming more popular, it is important for us and the RLSS to be making sure that swimmers are taking the right precautions when swimming outdoors. You can still have fun and be safe and that is all we want for people who are looking to take up open water swimming.”
Michael Dunn, Interim Director of Education & Research, Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK), added: “Swimming all year round is increasingly popular, and there is a growing body of evidence for the physical and mental health benefits of a cool water dip. Of course when the water is cold, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you take all the common sense safety precautions. If you’re going for a swim this spring, especially an open water swim, remember to find a safe venue, swim with a partner or group, and take the right equipment with you (a wetsuit, pull-buoy, and warm clothing for after your swim). Happy swimming!”
Selkie Swim partnered with the RLSS back in April 2018, in a bid to ensure safety precautions are always put in place or known about for open water swimming, especially for swimming events. The partnership also saw Selkie’s sister company Open Water Swimming Ltd, which is behind open water swim events such as the Henley Classic, go through the SH2OUT accreditation programme, that supports development of standards and ensures safe and compelling experiences for all participants. The partnership also saw Selkie Swim to produce its first range of branded fashion items for RLSS. The collection includes men’s and women’s t-shirts and sweatshirts, with a percentage of all sales of the range going to RLSS.