Topic Guidance

Lakes, rivers, reservoirs, canals and coasts; all appear irresistible to increasing numbers of people looking for somewhere to swim in the open air. But what are your responsibilities, if any, for ensuring their safety?

You might want to allow swimming, but not promote it, and have no one on-site to manage visitors.

Elsewhere it could make sense to promote swimming in zones where depth and shelving pose lesser risks, and perhaps you can provide lifeguards.

How far is it reasonable to expect swimmers to act responsibly and take care for their own safety?

You might think that banning swimming would make life easier. But what if people ignore your signs? Does fencing designed to keep swimmers away, simply make rescue impossible?

This guidance provides a framework for risk assessment and provides signposts to encourage responsible open water swimming.

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