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Top 10 safety tips for Wild Swimmers

Updated: Mar 12

Swimming in the outdoors does have its risks, but instances of wild swimmers drowning in the UK are very, very rare and if you are sensible and follow the saftey advice below it is a very safe way to have fun, stay healthy and connect with nature. To find places to swim that are right for you, check out the Outdoor Nation Adventure Map.

10 Tips to keep you safe when wild swimming

1. Never swim alone

The number one rule for wild swimming is to make sure you have someone on hand to help if you have a problem. Even strong swimmers can get into difficulty! Also make sure you have working phone and you've told someone where you're going.

2. Keep a careful eye on children

Children are naturally unaware of risk and keen to explore. They should be briefed on how to stay safe and monitored at all times. Weak swimmers should have swimming aids and be accompanied in the water.

3. Check tides, currents and flows

To the untrained eye, water can be unpredictable and can easily catch you out. Learn how to check the tides and currents when swimming in the sea and estuaries, and flow rate when in rivers.

4. Stay close to safety

There is also a risk of developing muscle cramp when swimming which can seriously impact your ability to swim. Cold water can also significantly affect your swimming stamina. Advice is generally to assume you can only swim 10% of the distance you could swim in warm water, so avoid going too far from saftey.

5. Don't get too cold

Whilst there is no doubt that cold water can be good for you, it can still be dangerous to get too cold. Cold water can significantly affect your stamina when swimming and lead quickly to hypothermia. Make sure you don't overdo it and that you have the ability to warm up when you get out.

6. Watch your footing.