Most hosts providing accommodation on an island or close to the seaside forget sometimes that our guests do not always know how to swim or at least are not as confident with this element as the locals. Recently, ABTA has published a list of tips for travellers heading towards beach destinations for their Summer holidays. I thought it would be helpful for hosts to share this list also with our guests. Read Also: Preparing Guests for a Heatwave
ABTA’s top tips for swimming safety include:
1. Make the most of your time in the water
Brush up on your swimming skills before you go away.
If you’ve got kids then get in the water with them – it’s easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun – remember children should always be kept under constant supervision in or near water.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Always follow pool rules and local signs.
Check the pool layout to know where the deep and shallow ends are, especially before jumping or diving in.
Check warning flags and signage on the beach.
Beware of dangerous currents: these can be very powerful. Ask locally if there are any known dangerous currents or dangers caused by the tides and avoid swimming in these areas.
Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
Don’t dive or jump from rocks, piers, breakwaters or poolside furniture.
3. Follow safety advice
Speak to reps, hoteliers or local people about pools and local beaches.
Read the pool rules before you swim and remember, not all holiday accommodations employ lifeguards.
Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis, or where the lifeguards have identified as being unsafe (possibly due to hazards that you can’t see)
If there is a flag warning system, learn what it means.
4. Look out for others
Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party.
Children should be supervised by an adult at all times and never left unattended, even if a lifeguard is present.
Armbands can be a good training aid for children but are not a substitute for supervision.
Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.
Know how and where to get help, if you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm – preferably the emergency services – ensure you know the correct number for the country you’re in.
5. Don’t overestimate your ability
Consider lessons before you go if you think you might need them.
Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water can be very different, and cold water reduces the distance that you can swim significantly, even for strong swimmers.
Read Also: Preparing Guests for a Heatwave