Swim Safe Code Launch, Windermere
A swim safe code aimed at making it safer for swimmers and Lake users in the Lake District was launched today in Windermere.
Representatives from event organisers, open water swim providers, commercial boat operators and the Lake District National Park authority joined forces to promote the launch of the new code for swimmers and boat users.
The swim safe code message follows negotiations between groups of lake users as open water swimming attracts a massive new following.
The code encourages use of a bright hat, an alpha flag, a swim float or a boat to increase visibility of the swimmer and its main messages are:
Be Seen, Be Water wise, Be Informed, Be Mindful.
Reducing the Risk to Swimmers
Lakes ranger Sara Spicer said the initiative followed concern that increasing numbers of swimmers in Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston Water and Derwentwater were at risk unless they followed some simple but effective guidelines.
She explained: “A bright hat is number one priority, followed by a tow float, and if a white and blue Alpha flag-flying support boat or kayak is available, particularly for groups of swimmers, so much the better.”
The Lake District National Park has printed 10,000 leaflets which spell out how swimmers can protect themselves from boat collisions and serious harm.
Swim the Lakes director Pete Kelly welcomed the swim safe code saying “We have been providing safety advice for swimmers both formally through our courses and swims and informally through our swimming group, but as open water swimming in the Lake District becomes more popular it’s great to have the extra support this code will bring. It provides clear advice to both swimmers and boat users ensuring the risk of incidents are reduced and safety awareness is increased”.
Swimmers and boat operators agreed its a positive step for all lake users.
The Full Lake District Swim Safe Code can be seen here
For advice on starting swimming in the Lake District and elsewhere consider the Swim the Lakes Introduction to open water swimming course in the Lake District a popular course for beginners to open water swimming and swimmers who would benefit from a refresher.
Theres also a useful article Where to Swim in the Lake District with information on which Lakes you can swim in and those not suitable for swimming.
The Lake District Swim Safe Code
Ditch the Hitcher – Cumbria’s Freshwater Initiative
Introduction to Open Water Swimming course