In order to get the most fun at waterways, it is important that you follow some simple safety guidelines. Follow the SAFE message- Stay Away From the Edge!
- Rivers have swift currents and very deep areas. Tragedy can be avoided if you check it’s safe before you enter the water.
- The best way is by asking an adult who know the area: a lifeguard, a shopkeeper, caravan park owner or someone who lives nearby. They are most likely to know the dangers and direct you to a safe spot.
River Safety Tips
- Check where ring buoys are placed. See they are undamaged. Report anyone you see tampering with them. They could save a life. It might be yours.
- Never wade into a river to get a ball back
- Do not jump off bridges- even if you see friends do it
- Never push a friend into the water “ for a laugh”
- Be careful of slippery grass by the edge
- Always keep your eyes open and pay attention to avoid tripping over things
- Never swim in fast flowing water. If you feel that it is dangerous then do not swim, even if your friends say that it’s okay. Check first by throwing in a twig to see how fast the current is travelling. Remember that the current can be faster under the water and river currents are often stronger than they appear.
- If you are caught in a current, float on your back and travel downstream feet first to protect your head.
- Beware of submerged objects- they can be very dangerous. Keep watch for trees, branches, rocks and rubbish. Always enter the water feet first.
- Do not play near the edge of overhanging riverbanks at the water’s edge. It can crumble away suddenly.
- Canals are man made and have very steep sides
- If you fall in it can be very difficult to climb out
- Locks are dangerous places – the water is very deep
- Keep away from the sides. Once you fall in it is almost impossible to get out
- Ring buoys can often be found on the canal bank. If they are tampered with they will be of little use to a drowning person. Do not remove them unless you have to. They could save a life. It may be yours or your friend’s life.
- Be careful not to go on ice-covered canals. If someone falls in remember to reach first with a rope or stick or piece of clothing
- If you are hot and thirsty, never drink the water even if looks clean
- These are deep and cold, with sudden changes in depth
- Never go to a reservoir alone- you may fall in and have no assistance to get out
- Never play near reservoirs
- These are sometimes used as bird sanctuaries after closure
- Do not enter if the water looks inviting- they are very cold and can be very deep. Weeds often grow thickly beneath the surface.
- Gravel sliding down steep sides makes it very difficult to climb out
- Even good swimmers have drowned in gravel pits
- Be very careful walking along piers that you do not trip or be blown into the water
- When fishing make sure that an adult is always with you
- Never reach out after tangled fishing lines in case you fall into the water
- Remember that even if ice is a foot thick in one area on a lake, it can be less than one inch thick just a few meters away
- Do not walk on a frozen river or canal – use a bridge instead