Whilst many people are taught how to swim from a young age, 1 in 5 Britons still do not know how to; even though it is a potentially life-saving skill to have.

Many Brits can't swim

Many Brits can't swim

When polled, a third of those who don’t swim regularly said it was because they were embarrassed of doing so in front of people.

The team at www.selkieswim.com conducted the study as part of ongoing research into Britons’ fears when it comes to water.

When respondents were asked ‘Can you swim?’ one fifth said that they could not and just over half said ‘yes, but not very well’.

When asked to state the reasons why they didn’t know how to swim. When asked to select all reasons that applied, the top ten reasons why were as follows:

  1. My parents didn’t teach me - (28%)
  2. I had a bad experience with water previously which put me off - (24%)
  3. My school didn’t offer swimming lessons - (22%)
  4. I’ve never liked wearing swimwear because of my appearance - (20%)
  5. I didn’t have time to learn how to swim - (19%)
  6. I just can’t get the hang of it - (17%)
  7. I don’t like being in water - (15%)
  8. I was part of other extra-curricular clubs when younger - (12%)
  9. I have never been interested in learning how to swim - (9%)
  10. I didn’t think it would be a necessary life skill – (5%)

When participants were asked if they went swimming regularly, almost two thirds of them said ‘no’. When asked why, almost half said ‘they didn’t have time’ and a third (32%) of participants said that they felt embarrassed to swim in front of other people.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), which Selkie Swim has partnered with, gave these top tips for swimming:

  1.  Stop and think. Look for the dangers, always read and obey the signs, they’re there to keep you safe.
  2.  Stick together. Never swim alone. Always go with friends or family and only swim where there’s a lifeguard.
  3.  Cold water and alcohol don’t mix. Cold water slows your reactions making it harder to self-rescue, alcohol makes it even harder to help yourself or others. Don’t Drink & Drown.
  4.  Be your family’s lifeguard. Keep family and friends safe by keeping an eye on each other and ensure young children are supervised at all times.
  5.  Know what to do and who to call in an emergency.

Jeremy Laming, Co-Founder of Selkie Swim Co, said:

“Swimming will forever be a life skill. If you haven’t been taught how to swim, it’s never too late.  Not only does swimming have very real health benefits, which include strength and cardiovascular fitness, it also is a good skill to have if you or anyone else ever run into problems when in water.  Even if you are a good swimmer, there’s no harm in going one step further by opting to go to your local pool for further practice and development.”

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