Children across Wales learn water safety messages thanks to RNLI and Swim Wales

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI and Swim Wales have worked together to create clear, strong and consistent water safety messages that will be shared to children across Wales.

Education is a priority for both organisations to help break the common chain of events that lead to drowning. The RNLI have committed to halving drowning by 2024; as part of this commitment the charity and Swim Wales decided to look at the current safety messages taught to children to see if they could be made simpler and more effective.

Thanks to collaborative working between the charity and Swim Wales, all children who take part in Swim Wales’ Learn to Swim Wales programmes will be taught four clear safety messages to help identify, assess and manage the dangers:

1. Stop and think – always swim in a safe place, spot the dangers or know the dangers.

2. Stay together with a friend or family member.

3. Float – if you are in trouble in the water, float until you feel calm and then think what to do next.

4. Call 999 or 112 – if you see someone in trouble in the water call 999 or 112 immediately.

Anthony Jones, RNLI Youth Education Manager said:

‘Working in partnership with Swim Wales is a fantastic opportunity for the RNLI to help share our key water safety messages far and wide to children across Wales. As a lifesaving charity we work closely with Swim Wales to help share our safety expertise so that the messages delivered in the ‘Learn to Swim Wales’ programmes are all clear, concise and consistent. These key messages will now be delivered by Swim Wales instructors across the country so that the children know how to stay in and around large bodies of water.’

Hanna Guise, Swim Wales National Learn to Swim Manager adds:

‘This collaboration with the RNLI is a positive and exciting step forward in ensuring that these potentially life saving messages are directly communicated and understood by over 45,000 children across Wales. By sharing the bilingual RNLI Water Smart leaflets and delivering the jointly produced plan in their lessons, our Learn to Swim Wales providers will enhance the learning experience and instill potentially life saving knowledge and awareness for this generation. We hope this is the start of increased collaboration between our organisations in promoting water safety awareness.

Both the RNLI and Swim Wales recognises the importance and power of educating communities with water safety messages. A key initiative that supports the charity’s commitment to halving the number of drownings across the coast is education; teaching children of all ages key water safety messages, which is an essential life skill.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Swim Wales contact

For more information please contact Amy Riley, Swim Wales Communications Officer on 01792 513640 / [email protected]

Key Facts about Swim Wales

Swim Wales is the National Governing Body for swimming, water-polo, diving and associated aquatic disciplines in Wales. The organisation was formed in 1897 as the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association and adopted the trading name of Swim Wales in 2003. It is responsible for establishing the laws of the sport, for organising certification and education programmes for coaches, officials and teachers, and for recreational swimming, aiming to ensure that everybody in Wales has the opportunity to learn to swim. The Learn to Swim Wales framework was launched in 2013 and currently has over 45,000 participants across Wales in extra curricular swimming lessons.

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.