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Learn Survival Swimming Skills

Japanese police statistics show that over 80% of people who drown are fully clothed, even good swimmers. They were simply unprepared, never learned survival swimming skills to save themselves or practiced swimming in clothes. Are you trained to survive?

Survival Swimming before Lifesaving

Survival swimming comes before lifesaving skills. There is no point in attempting a rescue and then add yourself to the casualty list because you couldn't cope.

When you go on outdoor adventures it is essential that you know how to cope with any situations that may arise, enable you to perform an effective self rescue and live to tell the story. The objective is to be able to swim and survive in any condition, even fully clothed.

Teaching Survival Swimming

Teaching survival skills is important, but often neglected or ignored by leisure centres or swimming clubs. Yet this skill may save your life one day. Over 80% if drowning victims didn't learn survival swimming to save themselves.

The main goal of our programme is to teach you the basic requirements, so you pose no danger to yourself or your team during most operations in and around water. The objective is to be able to swim and survive in any condition, even fully clothed. You'll be able to survive in water for a prolonged period, perform tasks and negotiate obstacles while in the water.

Swimmers who complete the entire programme should know how to do at least the following actions:

It is unrealistic to expect that everyone will be a proficient swimmer. However, they can be trained to participate safely in lifesaving and survival training conducted in aquatic environments.

Survival swimming lessons are fun for both students and teacher, as they are much more varied than swimming up and down all the time. Use inflatable boats, rescue ropes and other accessories to enhance the lessons. Ongoing training for advanced survival swimmers includes resistance swimming, endurance training and boat handling.

Promote survival swimming in the pools and in the local area to increase swimmer numbers. Develop creative and innovative classes following our survival swimming programme. Deliver great customer service by providing personal attention and care to all swimmers.

Learn Survival Swimming in Clothes

This is usually one of the most popular session among swim teams, intended for competent swimmers. If regularly practised it adds variety and fun.

Be it sailing, canoeing, kite surfing or adventure racing, you wouldn't do it only in swim briefs or bikini. Swimming in clothes is an essential lifesaving skill for most water sports because a good soaking is often part of their appeal.

When your boat capsizes, or you fall in, or you decide to go for a spontaneous swim, voluntarily or not, you want to be prepared. While safety precautions should be taken, the nature of adventure sports recommends that you wear attire that reduces the possibility of mishap.

The teacher leads by example and demonstrates how different clothes influence your swimming ability. You'll learn how heavy wet clothes really get and how that affects your swimming skills, a key to aquatic survival. The more clothing layers you wear in the water, the harder your training gets. This adds realism, builds strength, and prepares you for an actual emergency situation.

Training Format

Teaching is done in both group and individual lessons. Ensure all swimming lessons are conducted in a safe environment supervised by lifeguards, especially when swimming in clothes. Follow your swimming schedules and deliver all the lessons to the highest standard. Assess progress and recommend for class advancement when ready.

Beginners Class

During theory training we explore water safety and what swimming strokes work best in various situations. I explain how different types of clothing affect their swimming abilities and how to cope with this.

Then hop into the pool, dressed in minimal swimwear (T-shirts and shorts) and practice the various swimming strokes. At the end of the lesson they get a preview of the Intermediate lesson where they can put on extra clothes.


The theory includes an overview of various rescue techniques. Try on different kit and learn how to wear it in a safe way.

Then go into the pool fully clothed, with jeans and hoodies over shorts and sports shirts or pullovers. This simulates a situation where the may fall into the water, or go for a swim on an adventure trek.

Practice a variety self rescue skills, including what to do when you break into ice. Show ways to rescue others, even using clothes as towing tool. Swimming 300 meters, push-ups and sit-ups on pool side and a lot of climbing out and jumping in is all part of the fun. Finally round off the lesson with a few pool games to get used to swimming fully clothed.


This part is all about adventure trekking and how to stay safe in the water. A variety of outdoor skills and hiking outfits get explored and practised before we go into the water.

In the pool practice swimming in different hiking clothes, including rain suits and ponchos on top. This can be exhausting as it involves getting out and changing into different kit a few times. Rain clothes also cause more drag when swimming, especially ponchos.

Teach how to pack a waterproof rucksack with the dry essentials, while swimming in all the clothes that can get wet or dry quickly. The trick is to keep the bag's inside dry while they swim 100 meters.

Finally teach how to handle boats, capsize, and climb in again. This is quite exhausting due to the heavy waterlogged clothes, but huge fun.

Refine Your Skills

Survival swimming is different from the usual swimming lessons and not a replacement for them. You'll learn the essentials needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water, an important first step to being safe around water.

This lesson is a good opportunity to refine your swimming skills as you will quickly feel the difference. Bad swimming skills always show up quickly as the clothes put up some resistance and slow you right down. Only correct swimming skills will keep you going.

Practice all swimming strokes to build confidence. Continue adding more clothes until you can swim fully clothed in a competent, efficient manner. Eventually you can perform advanced skills and be extremely proficient at water survival.

Know Your Team

There are times during survival training when swimmers may need to negotiate water obstacles. Leaders at all levels should be aware of the potentially dangerous situation this presents for people who fear water or cannot swim well.

Team leaders are responsible for knowing the water survival ability level of each swimmer. This knowledge lets them assign responsibilities and take protective measures to ensure the safety of each swimmer.

Practice with each team member swimming in the pool. Start with light clothing, increase until fully clothed. Lead by example. Be in the pool with them and check their confidence.

Try out every outfit and combination you may want to use for your adventures at home in your bath or shower. See how heavy your clothes get when soaking wet. Can you still move around freely, or do your wet clothes get into the way?

Before you go out on any adventures, practice swimming in your adventure clothes in a swimming pool. This builds confidence and avoids later surprises. You may find swimming in all these clothes quite a challenge at first, but it will get easier with consistent training.

Qualified Lifeguards

Lifeguards should be present at all times during your lifesaving or survival swim training. They should have a current Lifeguard Training certificate (American Red Cross or equivalent) and must be certified in first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).