5 ‘Wild Swimming’ Safety Tips

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There are so many outdoor adventure activities that the Peak District as an area has to offer that you could easily fill your trip with a different activity everyday. Today, we’re going to look at some of the best spots for ‘wild swimming’ and the safety implications to keep in mind, thanks to a few tips from the RNLI.

Wild swimming refers to any time you swim in a natural body of water, so it’s key to understand that these are not swimming pools and haven’t been ‘designed’ for swimming in, so you always need to approach with caution. Just diving straight in not the best idea, as it could lead to injury and possibly even death in the wrong circumstances.

The RNLI’s major concern is water temperature, saying that although the air temperature may be hot, water in the UK remains very cold: “Cold water shock takes your breath away and can affect the strongest of swimmers. It is invisible, unpredictable and deadly,” a RNLI spokesperson said.

You also need to keep the depth of the water in mind. In wild swimming spots this can change quickly and be unpredictable, meaning that you should never take it for granted that you can touch the bottom, or that the water is deep enough for you to dive in.

This goes for objects submerged in the water which could cause difficulties. It’s unlikely that the water will be crystal clear, so submerged objects can be a risk, whether that’s debris or natural elements that may cause injury.

In moving water, you need to think about currents, whether that’s the sea or rivers, as they may be stronger than they look and cause harm to wild swimmers. This is particularly important for less able swimmers, but even the strongest don’t stand much chance against a strong current.

Also watch out for uneven banks and beds, which may affect how you get into the water and prevent you from getting out.



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Since 2000, Peak Pursuits has specialised in helping children and teenagers reach their potential and exceed their expectations. All of our activities are used as a tool to develop young people of all backgrounds.
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