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Water and boat safety

Water safety

Water activities can be a fun and a great way to stay fit however they can also be very dangerous. Many people who have suffered incidents in water never intended to enter the water in the first place. We would discourage the public to swim open waters (such as canals, lakes, rivers and seas). Remember! If you spot anyone who appears in danger in open water, call 999 immediately.

The Water Safety Code

To keep yourself safe, when you are in, on or beside water, always follow the Water Safety Code.

Spot the dangers! Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in open water.

The dangers of water include:

  • Hidden currents
  • No lifeguards
  • Very cold temperatures
  • It is difficult to estimate depth
  • Water pollution may make you ill
  • It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
  • There may be hidden rubbish like shopping trolleys or broken glass

To help keep you safe near open water, please visit the websites below for further information and advice should you or anyone you know get into trouble near/in open water:

Royal Society for the prevention of accidents logoRoyal life saving society UK logo




Click here to view a PDF of ROSPA’s water safety signs.

Boat safety

Fires on boats have killed 30 boaters in the last 20 years. Most fires are preventable; follow our tips and advice on how to protect your boat and crew from fire, and what to do should a fire break out. The video below is courtesy of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service:


  • Fit a bubble type gas leak indicator in the LPG cylinder locker
  • Fit a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm suitable for marine use that meets the EN50291-2 standard
  • Keep the cooking area clean for safety
  • Keep cabin ventilation clear to prevent a build-up of toxic CO
  • Check stoves, flues and surrounding areas for damages and repair or replace immediately
  • Have your chimney swept regularly
  • Use a proper, stable ashtray for cigarettes
  • Take extra care with lit candles, don’t leave them unattended and only use secure holders
  • Make sure you check and maintain your boat’s fuel, gas and electrical systems on a regular basis
  • Have gas and electric appliances properly installed and serviced routinely by competent fitters
  • Make an emergency plan with everyone on board before you set out
  • Have enough life jackets for everyone on board, and keep them in good condition
  • Only consider tackling a fire with an extinguisher or fire blanket if you are confident using them; if in doubt, evacuate the boat
  • If you are inland or moored near to land and you have a fire, move everybody off the boat and call 999 immediately
  • If you are off-shore and you have a fire, move as far away from the fire as you can on deck, get everybody into life jackets and call for help

Visit our home fire safety page for advice on how to check your home. We have a checklist available to download and you will also find how to apply for a visit should you need more help.

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