Donate now

Float: A lifesaving piece of advice

The latest fatality figures show that last year, 128 people lost their lives at the UK coast. 

Just over half (55%) ended up in the water unexpectedly – many of them walkers and runners who slipped, tripped and fell in. 

With Respect the Water back for its sixth year, we’re sharing our advice to float if you find yourselves in trouble in cold water. 

There are five steps to floating:

  • Fight your instinct to swim hard or thrash about.
  • Lean back, extend your arms and legs.
  • If you need to, gently move your arms and legs to help you float.
  • Float until you can control your breathing.
  • Call for help or swim to safety. 

Watch sand artist Chris Spackman (search @sandala_beachart on Instagram) bring our float safety message to life:

Get more information

Read about how our float advice saved surfer Ruth’s life and get more advice on floating at