We know that cooling off in the pool or relaxing on the beach are major holiday highlights. Whether you’re a toe-dipper, an enthusiastic splasher or a serious swimmer, it’s important to keep yourself and your fellow travellers safe when you’re near the water. Only swim where it is permitted to do so and don’t swim anywhere that may be beyond your ability. Look out for safety notices and advice, and read our tips below to help you become a water safety wizard.
General water safety
Make sure you know how and where to get help in the event of an emergency, e.g. the local coastguard or emergency services.
Read the pool or beach rules before you swim, and keep in mind that most holiday accommodation does not employ a lifeguard.
Keep your swimming capability in mind - avoid going out of your depth or distances from land that are beyond your ability.
Supervise children in and around the water at all times. Little ones should wear age and ability-appropriate swimwear, e.g. inflatable arm bands.
Never swim after drinking alcohol. Avoid swimming immediately after eating.
Do not swim at night.
Don’t jump or dive into any body of water without checking the depth and whether it’s free from underwater hazards first – keep in mind that submerged branches, rocks and other debris can move into spots that may have been safe to dive into the day before, especially in the sea.
Swimming pool safety
Only swim during the pool’s official opening hours, never when it’s closed.
Check the pool layout, including where the shallow and deep ends are, before jumping or diving in. Never dive into water that’s less than 1.5m deep, and don’t jump or dive from any poolside furniture or raised features.
Don’t change nappies by the poolside. In the event of an accident, report it to the hotel or swimming pool staff immediately.
Leave 48 hours before entering the pool after suffering from an upset stomach.
Check warning flags and signs, and follow safety advice on the beach. Look out for dangerous currents and underwater hazards such as rocks, reefs, sudden depth changes and marine life.
Never swim alone. Swim only at beaches where there’s a lifeguard on duty.
Never swim where a sign warns you not to, e.g. in jet ski or motorboat zones.
Don’t jump or dive from piers, breakwaters, coral or rocks, and try to stay clear of them when swimming too.Back to the Health and Safety Hub Next topic: Food and drink