Open Water Safety: Entering the water

Once you have checked the essential water safety steps including the tidal activity and where it is safe to swim, it is time for your and your kids to enter the water.

Entering the water: wading entry

Unsurprisingly, running into the sea or diving straight in is NOT the safest way of entering the water!

Instead, follow the four essential steps of wading entry:

  1. Always check the floor and under the water for submerged objects
  2. Slide your feet carefully along the floor
  3. Turn your back to any waves
  4. Keep your feet on the floor as waves pass – do not jump!

Click play on the video below to watch a short video about entering the water with a wading entry.

Remember you should only swim in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover.

Entering the water: porpoise entry

In big waves, an advanced way of entering the water is porpoising or dolphin diving. This should only be done when the water is around waist depth and too deep to safely wade.

Follow these three steps for porpoise entry:

  1. Dive forwards into the water with arms together and outstretched in a dolphin motion
  2. Angle your dive at 45 degrees towards the bottom and dig your hands into the sand
  3. Bring your legs forward to where your hands are then drive upwards with your arms out stretched

When the water depth is too deep to continue porpoise entry, you should start swimming.

Click play on the video below to watch a short video about entering the water with a porpoise entry.

Photo credit: Nathan Williams