Boating and swimming safely
Coniston Water is a great lake for all sorts of watersports. Here are some great tips to enjoy yourself safely:
- A white and blue Alpha flag means there is a swimmer or diver in the water.
- Keep a look out. Swimmers are not easy to see.
- Make yourself aware of the lake byelaws for the National Park's lakes.
- If you are using a powerboat, make sure you have had suitable training.
- Know your lake.
Swimmers and other lake users may be in any area of the lake at any time of day or night.
- Maintain a proper lookout for swimmers and other boats.
- Swimmers can be very difficult to see, especially when there are waves or sun glare.
- Keep as far away from swimmers and their support boats as possible.
- Boats supporting swimmers can not move out of your way.
- Your wash can put swimmers and other lake users into serious difficulty.
- Slow down and keep a safe distance.
Turn off engine
- Always wear a kill cord, and make sure it is attached to the driver of the boat.
- In an emergency, if you do get too close to a swimmer, turn off your engine to stop injury from propellers.
- In an emergency ring 999 and ask for the coastguard.
Be Seen, have support
Swimmers may be able to see boaters but boaters may not be able to see swimmers!
- Have a safety boat or canoe support displaying a white and blue Alpha flag .
- Wear a bright swim cap and tow a bright float.
- Never swim alone.
Take a look at the photos below. If you were steering a boat, which swimmer is easier to spot?
Be Water wise
Exposure to cool water can rapidly lead to hypothermia
- Wear a wetsuit to keep you warmer and more buoyant.
- Enter the water slowly to get used to it.
- Check the depth and the water bed by walking in carefully.
- Don't jump in.
Other people use the lakes too! Windermere, Derwentwater, Coniston Water and Ullswater are busy with boats. People on boats may struggle to see swimmers. A collision with any boat can be fatal.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Choose one of the quieter lakes that do not allow boats.
- Avoid mooring areas, marinas and jetties used by boats, ferry routes and boating channels.
- Be aware boaters may be in any area of the lake at any time of day or night.
- Only swim when weather conditions are suitable - remember they can change quickly.
Print out a handy guide
- Full SwimSafe BoatSafe code - web page