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Keri-anne Payne launches Swim Safe in Bournemouth

28 July 2014

The ASA in partnership with the RNLI will today launch Swim Safe at the Coastal Activity Park in Bournemouth supported by two-time World Open Water Champion and Olympic silver Medallist Keri-anne Payne.

A new study by the ASA revealed that one in five parents of children 12 and under say their child has experienced difficulty in the water, with one in 14 saying it was a serious incident.

Click here for more information on dates, session times and how to book, visit With tens of thousands of people expected to hit the beaches of Britain, this summer there has never been a better time to ensure children in the UK can enjoy swimming in the sea safely.

The ASA and the RNLI, the charity that save lives at sea are working together for the second year to launch Swim Safe at Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth today. Two-time World Open Water Champion and Olympic silver medalist Keri-anne Payne will officially launch the programme and will be getting involved in teaching some of the key skills that will keep children safe in an open water environment this summer.

Swim Safe offers FREE improver swimming lessons and beach safety advice for children aged 7-14 who are able to swim a minimum of 25m to help increase the number of children able to be safe in and around water this summer.

Swim Safe began last year and ran for five weeks in Bude, Cornwall, teaching over 2,300 local and holidaying children how to be safe in and around the sea. This year, the programme is running again in Bude, as well as Bournemouth, South Shields and Lake Windermere.

Swim Safe will run across the following dates:

  • Bournemouth: Monday 28th July – Friday 22nd August
  • Bude: Tuesday 29th July – Tuesday 26th August
  • South Shields: Friday 1st August – Tuesday 26th August
  • Lake Windermere: Monday 18th August – Sunday 24th August

Commenting on the initiative, Jon Glenn, Head of Learn to Swim at the ASA said, “Although many children learn to swim the basic 25 meters set out in the national curriculum in their local pool, open water situations have their own set of dangers and challenges which cannot necessarily be recreated during lessons in an indoor pool. While pool swimming is important to help improve safety for our children in general, we often forget that many children swim most often while they are on holiday.

“It is worrying to see that close to 60% of parents believe their children only need to be able to swim one length of a 25m pool to be classified as water confident and safe to swim in the sea or open water.”

"Although many children learn to swim the basic 25 meters set out in the national curriculum in their local pool, open water situations have their own set of dangers and challenges," - Jon Glenn“Some of the tragedies the country saw in 2013 may have been a result of children not understanding the differences between swimming in an indoor swimming pool and swimming in an open water environment.  We believe that Swim Safe is an effective intervention to ensure that children get a practical understanding of the differences.” 

Pip Hare, RNLI Coastal Safety Manager, said, “Swim Safe is a fun interactive programme, giving children the chance to learn key safety messages and practice survival skills, under the watchful eye of qualified lifeguards and swimming teachers.

“We were really pleased with the success of last year’s programme and hope to equip even more children this year with valuable knowledge and skills which they will hopefully share with their parents.”

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