River Swimming Keeping safe.

The heatwave is on its way for the weekend which means families all over will be trying to find ways to keep their cool. Recently online I have seen many families taking up water based hobbies like Kayaking and paddle boarding. Some like me and my friends have even started Wild swimming Or river swimming. However how many times have you heard horror stories about people getting into difficulties in and around the water. Here are some tips for River Swimming – Keeping Safe.

Water based hobbies in uk waters although a great way to exercise and cool off can however be dangerous if you dont respect the water.

river swimming cover

I have complied a few tips that I have learnt along the way.

River Swimming Keeping Safe Tips

  • Before you start make sure the water you have found is clean and safe to swim or paddle – Stagnent water can carry disease. In summer blue/ Green Algae can form and after heavy rain some rivers can get a discharge of sewerage in them.
  • Always know your limit. – If you are not a confident swimmer stick to shallow water where you can touch the floor. Even seemingly shallow waters can drop off into deep pools in places.
  • Be careful of currents, tides and waves. water is such a powerful element, waves have the potential of pushing you over.
  • Check the flow. Rivers can be deceivingly fast flowing. Throw in a leaf or stick and see how fast it flows down stream.
  • Cold Water Shock – Most accidents where people have become ill (Or died) from the cold water are because they just jump straight in. Take time to get your body acclimatised. The best way is to paddle and put in your wrists for a while then gently lower the rest of your body in the water. Its not so bad once you’re in!
  • Slipping – River beds can be very rocky so its often best to wear some kind of non slip swimming shoe or sock. Never run near or around the water.
  • Always take a swim buddy. _ If you get in to difficulty a swim buddy can help. Imagine you slipped or needed help to free you if you head wild swimming alone it could be ages before you are found by a passer by. Hyperthermia could have well set in by then and you may not make it out at all.
  • Stay Sober – alcohol and water do not mix unless you are drinking the water! So dont swim drunk!
  • Respect others – Many rivers have boat users or fishermen using them so be conscious of them when looking for somewhere to swim!
  • Easy Exit – Its all very well jumping in the river to cool off but if you cant get back out what are you going to do? before you head into the water look around for where you can get out. River swimming can make you tire quicker and the cold water can impair you swimming ability.
  • Never leave children unattended. This really goes without saying but it only takes a second for a child to drown. even in shallow water.
  • Buoyancy aid – If you want to feel that bit safer while playing at the river banks you could always wear a buoyancy aid. There are some pretty cheap ones out there but make sure they fit well and can tke the weight of the wearer.

As always when having fun in and around the water make sure you take home any litter. Imagine turning up next week and having to swim through crisp packets and soft drinks cans. Try and use reusable items and take home any litter.

I hope these tips will help keep you a little safer. Then you can enjoy the many benefits from river and cold water swimming. Just remember to keep within your limits. Even if friends think they can manage something doesn’t mean you can!

Enjoy The heatwave

Nina x



  1. 9th August 2020 / 08:37

    Great post! So many people I know have just invested in kayaks and paddle boards. Some have bought lifejackets, but not many. This hot weather definitely makes me want to join in but I’m not the strongest swimmer so I’ve been a bit put off.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:18

      Im not the strongest swimmer which is why and try not to head out of my dept and stick to these tips. x

  2. 9th August 2020 / 08:47

    What an informative and important post to share. It’s so sad to read about people getting into trouble in waters when the temperatures rise. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:03

      If we all take more care it really can prevent accidents! x

  3. 9th August 2020 / 09:02

    What a great post. River swimming sounds appealing given the right conditions and equipment, that’s for sure.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:17

      It really is addictive! x

  4. 9th August 2020 / 10:55

    We’ve just moved suburbs and have a beautiful river close by that I’m hoping to enjoy swimming in and doing some other water activities if possible. Just doing my research before we actually do and these are super useful points to consider – thanks for putting this together.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:16

      No problem. I hope you find it as amazing as i have. If you plan on Kayaking too you should check So You bought a canoe! too

  5. 9th August 2020 / 12:09

    Thank you very much for sharing this post to others! All the tips mentioned are spot on and sure to raise awareness for people who go near rivers for walks, swims etc. ???????? pattyfindsdeals.com

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:13

      Thankyou. I’ve seen and heard about so many people falling foul of the water. If i can do my bit to educate just one more person.

  6. 9th August 2020 / 12:09

    It’s scary how many people act irresponsibly as soon as there’s a heatwave! It’s so scary and dangerous! xo

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:11

      It really can be. I wish more of the tv programs that highlight the benefits would also ramp up the safety aspects to it too!

  7. 9th August 2020 / 13:13

    Such important advice. We have been river swimming and paddling but did our research first. Plus I am not a confident swimmer so needed to find out how shallow the water was first.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:04

      I am the same Im happier in water I know i can stand up in if I fall! xx

  8. 9th August 2020 / 16:33

    Some great tips especially about acclimatising yourself which I didn’t know.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:10

      Me neither until I started in the river last year and we went with a friend to start with she had been river swimming years! x

  9. 9th August 2020 / 18:11

    Very useful piece. I love wild swimming, but it is so important to have your wits about you.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:04

      It really is. Wild swimming though is the best! xx

  10. 10th August 2020 / 09:42

    I am glad that you are giving tips on water safety, especially given recent events it is important that we stay safe when swimming. I like what you said about ‘if in doubt stay out’ because it is so true. Listen to your gut instints.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:09

      So many people have started playing near the rivers lately. Its so important to stay safe though! x

  11. 10th August 2020 / 18:56

    This is such an informative post. I have never been swimming in a river before. I would have a lot to consider before I do so. Thanks for highlighting these important points.

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:08

      Me neither until last year! I’ll warn you its addictive!

  12. 11th August 2020 / 11:20

    I would love to try river swimming but I need to work on being able to swim in a pool first!

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:07

      It really helps if you can swim. however there are some great shallow waters about where you could paddle to start you off!

  13. 11th August 2020 / 11:34

    Wow I’d love to go wild swimming, we don’t have any thing close by . Some really great advice 🙂

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:06

      Oh you should go searching if you can it is the best! x

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:05

      It really can if you dont follow rules and advise! xx

  14. 12th August 2020 / 22:13

    What a great post. It’s easy to forget safety when you get excited to see what to dip in on a hot day!

    • Nina
      14th August 2020 / 10:05

      I know right! It so tempting to just jump straight in! x

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