A person who is drowning is usually unable to call for help. But you can save lives by learning about safety in the water and practising CPR.

Bear in mind that drowning accidents can happen even in shallow waters, especially when children are involved.

Get help from others

If someone is in distress in the water, alert other people nearby. Call 112 or ask for help to do this.

Save from land if possible

Try to stay on land and perform the rescue from there. You can throw a lifebuoy, rescue line or something similar to the person in distress and pull them ashore. Always talk to the person in distress and maintain eye contact.

Protect yourself if you swim out

A person in distress, even a young child, can easily pull you under the surface if you swim out to rescue someone. This is why you must always have something between you and the person you are helping, such as a lifebuoy. This is usually referred to as “the extended arm”.

Learn CPR

It may take time for the ambulance to reach a bathing area. The fact that someone else can initiate CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is often crucial to the chances of a person surviving. Always initiate CPR, even if a person is cold, wet and appears lifeless. More about CPR here.