Kids enjoy FREE open water Swim Safe sessions this summer in Cornwall

Lifeguards News Release

There are still fun and free swimming sessions available for children keen to make a splash this summer and learn how to stay safe when swimming outside.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

The Swim Safe sessions are free and for children aged 7-14

The water safety sessions are being held at sites in Penzance and Bude by the RNLI and Swim England. Swim Safe is a national programme that teaches children aged 7-14 how to stay safe when swimming outdoors.

Sam Gazzard took her sons Olly and Alfie along to a free Swim Safe session at Jubilee Pool in Penzance.

She says: ‘I was keen for our eldest two boys to do the RNLI course as we go to the beach lots. The boys love to surf and body board and I thought any extra safety courses would be helpful. I trained as a beach lifeguard many years ago and think it is really important, for kids especially, to keep an eye on tides and know exactly what they should be doing in an emergency. They would both love to do another course again if RNLI put another one on.’

During the summer holidays hundreds of children across the country have been taking part in the sessions and there are still a few free places waiting to be snapped up.

Alfie says: ‘I thought the course was really interesting and I learnt how to do the survival stroke. I was pleased to get a t shirt and lots of other free goodies too!’

Olly added: ‘I loved the free course the RNLI did at Penzance. It was good to be reminded and do some survival skills in a large group. The ladies were really kind and helpful.’

Jointly created by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Swim England (the national governing body for swimming in England), Swim Safe sessions are FREE, and take place at more than 20 coastal and inland locations across the UK and Ireland, including beaches, lakes, and reservoirs.

Swimming in an outdoor environment can often be more challenging than swimming in a pool.

Sennen Alcock, 9, from St Austell, like the other children who attended the session at Jubilee Pool, is now confident about where to swim safely at a beach and how to signal for help if he ever gets into trouble swimming in the sea.

He says: ‘It was really fun and I learnt how to swim without a float in the deep end of Jubilee Pool which we all know is really deep. It’s a sunny day and I love going in the sea. I don’t like swimming in deep water, but the swimming teachers helped me learn new skills and they were really positive and helpful.’

The hour-long Swim Safe sessions are run by qualified swimming teachers and qualified lifeguards, supported by a team of trained volunteers. The first 20 minutes covers land-based safety and then it is into the water for practical tuition with a swimming teacher.

Eilidh Maccormick has taken her son to every Swim Safe session in Bude.

She says: ‘Through the years Finlay has learned to enjoy his time on the beach more and more but always with a good level of caution, and has learned to identify when others may be putting themselves at risk. It is an amazing resource for families to support themselves in staying safe whilst having fun on the beach and in the sea.’

Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with a t-shirt are all provided. Children must be able to swim at least 25 metres to take part.

Guy Botterill, Swim Safe Project Manager, RNLI, said: ‘Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers and lakes is more challenging than swimming in a pool, where most lessons take place. Thanks to Swim Safe, thousands of children will learn how to keep safe when swimming outdoors and know what to do if they get into trouble.

‘Plenty of children have already been taking part in the sessions in Cornwall and having great fun. There are still free places available for children who want to take part at sites in Bude and Penzance and parents can book them a place via Swim Safe website.’

To book a free Swim Session, visit then share your experience using #SwimSafe and at

Swim Safe started in 2013 (with just one site in Bude, Cornwall). Since then over 18,000 sessions have taken place across the UK. This year, the programme is bigger than ever with Swim Safe sessions at over 20 sites across the UK including beaches, lakes, reservoirs and other inland locations.

Media contacts

For more information please contact Carrie Garrad RNLI Press Officer, at or call 07786668847. For out of hours enquiries, please contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Notes to Editors

· Photographs attached from Swim Safe session at Penzance

· More photos available on request

· Interviews available with Guy Botterill – Swim Safe Project Manager at the RNLI

About Swim Safe

Swim Safe was created jointly by Swim England and the RNLI to help children aged 7–14 stay safe when enjoying swimming outdoors. It was launched in 2013 in Bude and is now delivered to the public and schools at over 20 locations across the UK.

This year Swim Safe is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales. It is also being supported nationally by the Swimming Trust, and the Swim Safe schools programme is being supported by Norton by Symantec.

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information visit

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Children are taught how different swimming in an outside environment can be

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Children learn skills such as the survival stroke on the shore before going into the water.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Swim Safe teaches children key water safety skills.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Sennen Alcock enjoyed the free water safety sessions.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Swim Safe teaches children what to do if they get into trouble swimming outside

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.