Float to Live

As the allure of the open water beckons with promises of adventure and relaxation, it’s crucial to remember the potential dangers. Every year, numerous lives are lost to drowning, often due to a lack of awareness about water safety. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity that saves lives at sea, has developed the “Float to Live” guidance to address this issue and reduce water-related fatalities.

The RNLI’s “Float to Live” advice is simple yet profoundly effective: if you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, resist the instinct to swim hard to safety. Instead, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float. This position allows you to regain control of your breathing, conserve energy, and buy time for rescuers to arrive or to find a safer exit from the water.

Learn how to Float to Live

Understanding why this technique works is crucial. Sudden immersion in cold water can trigger a gasp reflex, leading to inhalation of water and potentially causing panic. Floating on your back helps to keep your airway clear, and calms your breathing, countering the cold-water shock response. It also helps conserve energy that you might need if you must swim to safety or signal for help.

Along with practicing the float technique, the RNLI emphasises other water safety tips: always check weather and tide times before heading out, choose a lifeguarded beach, avoid going alone and inform someone of your plans and your expected return time. If you see someone in trouble, call for help immediately rather than attempting a rescue yourself, which could put you at risk.

By spreading awareness of these water safety principles and the RNLI’s “Float to Live” guidance, we can all contribute to reducing drowning incidents. So next time you find yourself enjoying the splendour of the sea, remember: if in doubt, float to live. This simple act could be the difference between life and death.

Zoggs has teamed up with the RNLI to raise funds for the charity via the sale of co-branded swim products, including goggles, swim buoys and swim caps. Zoggs will also raise awareness of the RNLI’s lifesaving work by sharing vital water safety messaging with their customers. Find Zoggs X RNLI products in your local Everyone Active leisure centre.