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Kids swap the swimming pool for open water as Swim Safe comes to Weymouth

Lifeboats News Release

School children have been making a splash at Weymouth Beach as they take part in free outdoor water safety sessions ahead of the summer holidays.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

School children in Weymouth have been learning key water safety skills

Over three days more than 150 children headed to the seaside to take part in Swim Safe, which is a national programme that teaches children aged 7-14 how to stay safe when swimming outdoors. The scheme has proved popular elsewhere around the country in previous years and is been trialled in the town for the first time. The children were taught key water safety skills during the sessions that ran between Wednesday 12 July and Friday 14 July.

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.

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. 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. And because Swim Safe sessions are free and fun, they are a great activity for children aged 7–14.’

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 summer public sessions will take place at various locations including Penzance, Plymouth and Bude. To book a free Swim Session, visit swimsafe.org.uk then share your experience using #SwimSafe and at Facebook.com/SwimSafeOutdoors

Media contacts

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

Notes to Editors

Photographs and captions attached. Credit 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 swimming.org/swimengland

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

The first 20 minutes covers land-based safety and then it is into the water for practical tuition with a swimming teacher.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

The children were taught key water safety skills during the sessions.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Swim Safe is a joint programme run by the RNLI and Swim England.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

The hour-long Swim Safe sessions are run by qualified swimming teachers and qualified lifeguards.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

The Swim Safe sessions are free.

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 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 or by email.

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