ASA and RNLI to extend swimming and beach safety initiative in 2014

The ASA, the national governing body for swimming, and the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, have announced plans to extend their successful Swim Safe initiative.

During the summer of 2013 the two organisations teamed up to provide children, and their parents, with the opportunity to understand and learn about the differences between swimming in a pool and the challenges of swimming in an open water environment.

Over 2,300 children aged 7-14 years took part in the five-week pilot, which was completely free and included in-water tuition in a structured improver swimming lesson with accredited ASA teachers in Bude Sea Pool, and beach safety advice from RNLI lifeguards.

Next summer the two organisations will work in partnership again to run Swim Safe at a minimum of three beach locations in England in order to equip more children with the valuable knowledge and skills to have fun but stay safe in and around the sea.

Each year, children account for around two-thirds of incidents RNLI lifeguards respond to on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.

Jon Glenn, ASA Head of Youth & Community said, “Some of the tragedies the country saw in 2013 were a result of children not understanding about the differences between swimming in a swimming pool and swimming in an open water environment.  We believe that Swim Safe is an effective intervention for ensuring that children get a practical understanding of the differences.” 

Will Stephens, RNLI Coastal Safety Manager, said, “We are delighted to be able to expand Swim Safe in 2014. The pilot last year not only reached out to children and delivered vital safety lessons but also demonstrated the demand amongst parents for this type of practical education, which can be built into a fun and enjoyable session delivered by the ASA and the RNLI”.

The 2014 Swim Safe locations will be announced early in the New Year.

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