There is still time for children across the Isle of Wight to take to the waves of Sandown beach and learn vital open water safety skills for free with the RNLI and Swim England this summer.
‘Swim Safe’ is a community-based education programme aimed at children aged 7-14 that teaches them how to be safe in and around open water. Supervised by qualified swim instructors and RNLI lifeguards, the hour-long session involves open water safety advice taught on land and 30 minutes of in-water instruction with the instructors.
The appropriate kit – including swimming hats, wetsuits, and floatation devices – are all provided. Children only need to bring their swimming costume and a towel.
Guy Addington, RNLI Community Safety Partner for South East and London, emphasises the unique nature of open water swimming:
“Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn.
“It’s essential children learn about open water safety – where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into difficulty in the water.
“We want all children to have access to this training, so all Swim Safe sessions are funded by the RNLI and Swim England partnership and so are completely free of charge”.
Meeting at the Eastern Gardens Terrace off Culver Parade, the site offers both school and public sessions. Public sessions run daily between 29th July and 16th August.
To take part in the session, participants must be able to swim 25 metres unaided. A parent or guardian must be present throughout the session.
To book a free session, visit www.swimsafe.org.uk.