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Dip, Donate, Nominate – Safety Guide

We’re excited you’re taking on our Dip, Donate & Nominate Challenge.  However, our motto for this challenge is Be Safe, Have Fun! Cold Water Dips can be exhilarating and a lot of fun when done safely but please ensure you take the time to read our important safety guidance below before planning your dip.

By signing up for this challenge you will be confirming that you are physically fit and in good health to safely take part in this challenge. That you have no known condition that may affect your ability to take on this challenge or that could cause a risk of danger to myself or others. You must understand that you are 100% responsible for choosing a safe location for your challenge and that you acknowledge that you are taking part in this event at your own risk and that Alice House Hospice, cannot be held liable for any injury, accident, loss, damage or public liability caused or sustained before, during or after the event, as a result of your participation. You need to understand that you are responsible for your own safety and your own actions (including the safety of your possessions) whilst undertaking this challenge.

Going with someone else is much more fun. Whether they are staying dry on land or coming in with you, it’s much safer than doing it alone. 

When choosing your location for your dip we would recommend you choose somewhere you know well going with somebody else that has taken a dip in this location before for safety and with a lifeguard if possible.  If there isn’t a lifeguard make sure you consider how you will get in and out of the water, are there any hazards you need to be aware of and what the tides are doing.

You can find your nearest lifeguarded beaches here: Lifeguarded Beaches – Find Your Nearest Lifeguarded Beach (rnli.org) or why not check out the Bluetits Chill Swimming community to find other suitable locations.

Always check the weather forecast and sea conditions before you set off.  Be prepared to change your plans or cancel if the forecast is not safe.

If you are swimming in the sea, make sure to look out for rip currents.  They can be tricky to spot but look out for a channel of water that is churning and choppy on the sea’s surface.  If you spot this do not go in the water and pick a different location for your dip. 

Make sure you take the right kit with you to keep warm and safe

  • Wetsuit to keep warm
  • Bright colours so you can be seen
  • Take a float if you have one
  • Plenty of warm clothes and hot drinks for after your dip

It’s important to warm up carefully after your dip.  Please make sure you have plenty of warm clothes and hot drinks for afterwards.

Make sure someone knows where and when you are taking on your dip.  Get a waterproof cover for your phone so you can take it in with you and ideally have someone on land watching (and cheering you on). Lastly, make sure you have a charged phone with you and the location you are going has signal.  Take a whistle to attract attention if you feel panicked or get into difficulty.

  • Enter the water slowly to acclimatise to the temperature. Never jump or dive in!
  • Stay within your depths and make sure you don’t go too far from land
  • The colder the water and the air temperature the less time you should spend in the water
  • Set a timer and get out when it goes off
  • Plan how you will get in and out and stick to the plan
  • Assess the conditions – if the water is too rough, don’t get in!

If you experience cold water shock or fall into the water fight your instinct to swim until the cold-water shock passes; relax and float on your back until you can control your breathing and call for help!

If tired or in difficulty remember to roll on to your back to rest, hold on to something that floats, signal for help.

If you get into difficulty whilst swimming in a river, float with your feet facing down stream and your bottom up – use your feet to kick off any hazards. Keeping your bottom up protects from contact with debris.

Make sure you are prepared for the day and then go out and enjoy it!  Remember, plan your dip, get the right gear, don’t do your dip alone and know your limits.

Take the time to check advice from the following websites:

RNLI

Outdoor Swimming Society 

If you have any questions about the challenge please contact a member of the Fundraising Team here at Alice House on 01429 855555 or email enquiries@alicehousehospice.co.uk


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