Free water safety skills sessions for children in Suffolk and Essex

Lifeguards News Release

Children in Suffolk and Essex will be able to learn vital water safety skills for free, as Swim England and the RNLI’s Swim Safe programme returns this summer.

RNLI/Jim Rice

The fun, hour-long sessions teach young people aged 7–14 how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.

Swim England and the RNLI are running Swim Safe sessions in Lowestoft, Harwich, Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton during July and August.

Booking is essential, and opens six weeks prior to each session. To book your child’s free place, go to

Children must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part.

The sessions begin with children receiving water safety advice on land, before heading into the water for practical tuition with qualified instructors.

Children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel, as all the kit to take part, including wetsuits, swim hats and flotation equipment, is provided. They will also get some free Swim Safe goodies to take home!

Felicity Bramford, Swim Safe Area Coordinator Midlands and East, says:

‘Children love swimming outdoors, but it’s very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim. It’s essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.

We want all children to grow up learning these vital life skills. The session also offer a chance for parents and carers to get advice on helping their children stay safe around open water.’

Swim Safe dates and locations are as follows:

· Lowestoft: South Beach, 13, 14, 20 and 21 July

· Harwich: Dovercourt Beach, 30 July – 3 August, 13-17 August

· Clacton-on-Sea: Martello Bay, 22-26 July

· Walton-on-the-Naze: Eastern Terrace, 27-31 August

Swim England and the RNLI created Swim Safe in 2013 with a single activity at Bude in Cornwall. Having grown year on year, in 2019 Swim Safe will be running at 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The programme aims to support the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50% by 2026. For more information about Swim Safe, visit

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 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 by email.