Top 10 Water Safety Tips for Swimming in the Sea

The UK isn’t the first country that springs to mind when it comes to planning holidays and visiting a beach. Thanks to the recent pandemic and increased living-costs more people are considering staycations. Plus, with the recent heatwave, it feels like we’re aboard anyway with temperatures soaring above 40℃, Brits flocked to the beach in huge numbers taking advantage of the hot summer days we’ve recently experienced.

Take Caution When Swimming in the Sea

Whilst family time at the beach will create fond memories forever, we must take caution in the heat and avoid heat stroke. Staying hydrated and wearing sun protection lotion are two very obvious things we should be doing. But when it comes to swimming in the sea, there are additional water safety tips we might not take into consideration.

Here are our Top 10 Water Safety Tips for Swimming in the Sea:

  1. Never swim alone – always go for a dip in the sea with a friend or family member.

  2. Know your tides – tides pose danger, especially if they change when you are not expecting them to. Coastal areas experience two high and two low tides every 24 hours and 50 minutes. High tides occur 12 hours and 25 minutes apart. It takes six hours and 12.5 minutes for the water at the shore to go from high to low, or from low to high.

  3. Understand the wind – wind direction is important. Often when wind is blowing in the opposite direction to the tidal flow (wind over tide), it can create very choppy conditions. This makes swimming in the sea more difficult and disorientating.

  4. Stay in eyes reach – explain to people you are with where you are swimming so they can keep a safe eye on you. Be sure not to drift out of site. Many beaches will have flags to represent a lifeguard safety area, so sticking in that swimming zone is obviously safer.

  5. Enter the water feet first – and if the area is rocky, invest in some swimming shoes to avoid any accidents and injuries on rocks which might be beneath you on the sand bed.

  6. Only swim if you can – and learn the skills of survival floating and treading water.

  7. Acclimatise slowly – the sea temperature increases gradually over the summer. The sea is usually warmest in September, so even on the hottest early summer days, the sea temperature will still be cold. A rapid change in body temp can be dangerous.

  8. Ask locals – if you are unfamiliar with the area, ask locals about the area, the sea – are there lifeguards? Is the sand bed rocky? Just be as clued up as possible.

  9. Plan your exit – before getting into the sea and swimming, plan your exit route and how long you will be in the sea for. You will be surprised how quickly the time goes, and depending upon the conditions how quickly you might get tired.

  10. Focus on friends/family – often beaches are packed, so try to identify your family location by something. Maybe you are next to steps, a groyne (the man-made dividers that run from the beach into the sea), or you might be able to clearly identify your beach position through wind breakers, a tent etc. Before entering the sea look back at your land location for extra reassurance.


With these swimming in the sea tips we hope your time spent is not only safer but more enjoyable 😊


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