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Keep safe in the water on holiday

15 July 2016 09:39

Family holidays can be safe in and around water

Family holidays can be safe in and around water

Britons on holidays abroad are being advised how to enjoy safe swimming this summer.

ABTA's new five-point plan aims to reduce the dangers that surround foreign pools and seas.

The travel group's guidelines come before millions of UK families are due to jet out overseas for their annual getaway.

Safety first

Swimming pools are not the only place where a safety-first policy pays dividends on holiday.

Taking out trusted travel insurance also helps to reduce risks.

This cover protects holidaymakers should their flight be delayed or cancelled.

It can also reimburse them should they have their luggage and possessions stolen, or passports and other travel papers mislaid.

Safe swimming

ABTA recommends the following steps for holiday swimming...

Before you go: The organisation says that preparation is key. This means getting used to swimming again before tourists leave - perhaps at their local swimming baths. Parents are also advised to get their children used to the water while keeping an eye on them throughout.

Get familiar with new surroundings: Tourists should acquaint themselves with pool layouts, beach warning signs and flags, and the location of dangerous currents. Knowing the pool's design will prevent holidaymakers from unknowingly jumping in at the deep end. Rocks, reefs, sudden alterations in depth and other potential underwater hazards should also be inquired about. ABTA also advises against jumping off poolside chairs and tables, piers and rocks.

Keep vigilant: People should always swim with others and supervise the children in their group at all times, handing out armbands as an additional precaution. ABTA recommends that Britons should only swim during the daytime and never after imbibing alcohol.

Follow safety rules: Hoteliers, holiday reps and locals will be best placed to advise travellers about their beaches and pools. Holiday-goers should also learn any flag warning systems and pool rules before they swim. Prohibited swimming zones should be avoided at all costs.

Knowing limitations: It's no good Britons thinking they are Rebecca Adlington if they have just passed their 20-metres certificate. If people think they need lessons, then they should not be too proud to get some before flying out. Remember that open water, even in a swimming pool, can be much colder and more difficult than indoor heated pools. Even stronger swimmers find they cannot swim as far in cold water as they can in the warm.