Meet the people who helped save their own life by floating to live - and share them with your friends and family.
Float to Live
If you found yourself struggling in the water unexpectedly, your instinct would tell you to swim hard. But cold water shock could make you gasp uncontrollably. Then you could breathe in water and drown. Instead, you should Float to Live.
The best way to float is to tilt your head back with your ears submerged. Try to relax and breathe normally. You can gently move your hands to help you stay afloat if you need to. Spread your arms and legs out to improve stability – and it's OK if your legs sink, we all float differently. Once your breathing is under control, call for help or swim to safety.
How to float
5 steps to know how to float
However you end up in the water, if you end up in difficulty, Float to Live.
Tilt your head back
with ears submerged
and try to breathe normally
Move your hands
to help you stay afloat
It's OK if your legs sink
we all float differently
Spread your arms and legs
to improve stability
Remember it. Share it.
Make sure your loved ones know what do if they get into difficulty too. Help them learn how to float.
What is cold water shock?
When in cold water (anything below 15°C), your body can go into cold water shock. If this happens, you lose control of your breathing and movement. Cold water shock also causes your heart rate and blood pressure to quickly increase, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
The average sea temperature around the UK and Ireland is just 12°C. Inland waters like lakes, rivers, lochs and reservoirs can be colder - even in the summer.
Remember, if you find yourself in difficulty in the water, Float to Live.
Rip currents are powerful currents that run out to sea. They can quickly drag you away from the shore and into deep water.
They can be difficult to spot, and it’s easy to get caught out by them. The best way to avoid rip currents is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags. You can always ask RNLI lifeguards for advice.
Knowing how to float could save your life in an emergency. That’s something Tina knows all too well. On a late September day in Cornwall, Tina went out for a shallow paddle in the sea – but as she tried to put her foot down, she couldn’t touch the bottom. Tina had been caught in a rip current and was quickly being dragged out to sea. Thankfully, she remembered to float.
‘I remembered seeing the Float to Live campaign on the big screens near my work in Portsmouth. The technique allowed me to relax a bit, and float over the waves until the lifeguards came’ - Tina