Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)


Around half the people who die at the coast never intended to go in the water.

If you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, you should Float to Live.


Cold Water Shock  What is it & Why is it so dangerous?

Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement, so the risk is significant most of the year.  The effect on the body of entering water 15°C and below is often underestimated. This shock can be the precursor to drowning.

Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. Rivers such as the Thames are colder – even in the summer.

Beach Flags  Know the signs …

When near open water, keep well away from the water’s edge. Stick to designated paths and beware of uneven, unstable or slippery ground.  Check the tides and seek local advice to avoid being cut off by the tide.

Reduce the risks: avoid walking alone or at night. Always make sure you have a means of calling for help.

Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. It highlights the risks, helps you avoid them and gives advice to keep you and those around you safe.