l Never swim alone. Use the buddy system and swim with buddies or with your family members.
l Know your swimming abilities. Do not overestimate your ability, more especially in summer when water is cold. Swimming ability is severely decreased in cold water.
l If you encounter a rip current, swim parallel to the shore instead of directly toward it until you are out of the rip.
l Avoid alcohol if you will be swimming. Alcohol impairs judgment. Unnecessary risks are taken and a swimmer will tire more easily, increasing the chance of an accident.
l Lifeguards are not always on duty. Check with the lifeguard on conditions before swimming. If lifeguards give you directions or instructions from the stand, obey them.
l Never dive into shallow water, or water of unknown depth. Don't dive headfirst into water without checking for depth and obstructions.
l Use care when swimming to avoid neck injuries. If you are confronted by a large wave and there is not enough time to get away from it, try to dive underneath the wave. Keep your body as low as possible until the wave passes over you. Timing is important, dive into the base of the wave just before it breaks. Do not dive if the water is too shallow - instead crouch and keep a low body profile.
SWIM SAFELY WITH CHILDREN
l Children are naturally attracted to water. A child can drown quietly in seconds, and in only 3cm water.
l Give your children your full attention. Children get lost easily on crowded beaches.
l They should always wear Personal Flotation Device in or around water. Teach young children how to swim or play within arm's reach. Children must swim at supervised waterfronts and beaches.