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Rescues: Your Safety First

The key for a successful rescue is to stay out of danger. Your safety is of utmost importance and always comes first. Whatever you do, avoid putting yourself in danger. There is no need to add yourself to the casualty list.

Good rescue skills enable you to perform an effective rescue and live to tell the story. Assess your abilities in regular intervals. Keep practising in open water or swimming pools under realistic conditions. This keeps you up to speed and alert.

Think Before You Act

Before you jump in and go for a casualty, assess the situation, the condition of the casualty and your own safety. Only enter the water if you have no alternative and can do so safely.

Rescue Priorities

Some types of rescues are safer than others. Escalate your involvement only as far as necessary. Start with land based rescues. If the first is unsuccessful (or impossible), try the next one on the list. Only as a last resort use a rescue tow.

    Land Based Rescues
  1. Shout
  2. Signal
  3. Reach
  4. Throw
    Water Rescues
  1. Wade
  2. Row
  3. Swim with Aid
  4. Swim with no Aid

If You See Someone in Trouble

  1. Keep calm and think before you act.
  2. Try to get help. Shout "HELP, HELP!" as loud as you can.
  3. Reach out with a stick, a pole, a towel or clothing to pull the person to the edge of the water. Lie down and hold onto something to make sure you don't get pulled in.
  4. If you can't reach the person and no-one comes when you shout for help, find the nearest telephone and ring 112 in Europe or 911 in USA.
  5. Never jump into the water yourself. This is only the last resort if you're fully trained.

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