Swim Safe has been taking place at Margate main sands since July every Monday and Friday and has proved highly popular. On Friday (23rd August) our team popped down to support the programme and also to chat to other beach visitors about key water safety messages ahead of the bank holiday weekend.  The Swim Safe programme is run at various sites across the country and children learn about aspects of water safety and how to swim safely in open water for no charge.

Picture credit: Haddon Dene School

Margate main sands is such a lovely beach and is an ideal location for Swim Safe to take place as even at high tide there is still a large expanse of sand available to use and is close to public transport links. Margate Swim Safe is also very lucky to have the highly experienced swim teaching team led by Gail Crompton from the Ocean Swim School leading all classes.

Margate Mayor Mick Tomlinson chatting to Swim Safe participants

It was marvellous to host a visit from Councillor Liz Hurst and the Mayor of Margate Mick Tomlinson. Both of whom are huge Swim Safe supporters enabling the scheme to operate and it was great to talk through the programme and see it in action.

Liz and Mick enjoying the selfie frame

Swim Safe’s very last day of operation is Friday 30th August with the first session of the day starting at 9:30am.  There are still places available throughout the day, so if you haven’t booked your child(ren) onto Swim Safe yet, this is the last opportunity before it closes down for the winter. You can book on-line or walk-up and speak with the Co-ordinator.

Photo Credit: Haddon Dene

The only qualification your child(ren) has to fufill is that they must be able to swim 25 metres unaided in a pool.  Participants are given a wet suit, rash vest and hat to wear during the session free of charge which are returned at the end (apart from the hat which they are welcome to keep).  Teaching is conducted on the sands initially and then progressing into the water. All of the feedback Gail and her team have received throughout the Summer’s programme has been very positive and is an ideal opportunity to learn essential water safety drills such as Float to Live and open water swim techniques.

Chatting to beach visitors

As well as supporting the Swim Safe sessions we were able to chat with other beach visitors about how to stay safe whilst at the coast which was fabulous to do. Passing on information about the different beach flags, who to call should you see someone in the water in difficulty,  the role of the lifeguards and also handing out the hugely popular children’s water proof wrist bands which carry the parent/guardian mobile telephone number should they get separated.

Children’s waterproof wrist bands

It proved a very succesful and enjoyable day spent on the beach helping to keep people safe.  Thank you to everyone we spoke with for their time and to all of whom attended the Swim Safe sessions which we hope you enjoyed.

Other useful links

Book your Swim Safe session

Why inflatables are not designed for the beach

Margate Swim Safe kicks off with a flying start

It’s hot out there – what to do if you get into difficulty

Can I suffer from cold water shock?

Acknowledgements

Swim England

RNLI

Margate Swim Safe Co-ordinators and Swim Safe Teachers


Andy Mills

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Striving to reduce accidental drownings by 50% by 2024 by spreading key safety messages to Thanet communities and its visitors.