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Float To Live

Simple, easy-to-recall advice for those that find themselves in trouble whilst in the water. The advice is straightforward: if you get into difficulty.... Float To Live.

What is the risk?

Everyone that falls into the water unexpectedly has the same instinct: to swim hard and to fight the cold. Cold water shock causes an individual to gasp uncontrollably with the very dangerous consequence of water entering the lungs, leading to potentially fatal results.

How to minimise the risk

If you find yourself in trouble in the water, you can help yourself get back to safety by learning to float. Floating minimises your risk of gasping uncontrollably and breathing in water, which can quickly lead to drowning.


Follow these key Float to Live steps:

  1. Fight your instinct to thrash around.

    First, keep calm and try not to panic. Your instinct will be to swim hard - don't.

  2. Lean back

    Lean back - extending your arms and legs, to keep your mouth and nose out of the water and your airway clear.

  3. Gentle movements

    If you need to, gently move your arms and legs in a sculling motion (a bit like when using an oar in a boat) to help you float.

  4. Catch your breath

    Float until you can control your breathing. Do this for 60-90 seconds or until you feel more calm.

  5. Now, think about how to get out

    Only now can you think about the next steps. If you can, swim to safety. If someone is nearby, raise a hand and call for help.

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