Risks associated with swimming in cold water

All swimmers and buddies to read this prior to entering and again closer to the event please.


This can be avoided by knowing your limits and by your buddy calling time when they feel you’ve had enough. In any event, the swimmer should leave the final decision to the organiser or Lido staff. Buddies must notify a Lido lifeguard or the organiser if they suspect a swimmer is succumbing to the effects of hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition where the core body temperature drops. In mild hypothermia, the symptoms are shivering and mental confusion. Therefore Buddies should assume dominance.

The lifeguards have training in this area – please ensure they are aware. If you are suffering from hypothermia, you should put on warm clothing but especially a woolly hat. It is best to gradually warm up first before going into the having a hot shower. Come prepared and bring suitable warm clothing to retain the heat.


Muscles go into spasm. Extreme temperatures can bring this on. If you are suffering from cramp, alert a lifeguard/member of staff, swim to the poolside and try to gently stretch the muscle –with a buddy’s assistance if required.

Respiratory and heart conditions

Cold water can put extreme pressure on both breathing and heart conditions. If you feel yourself suffering from either, get out, notify a lifeguard or organiser and if you have an inhaler, ask your Buddy for it as they should be carrying a spare. If you are pregnant, it is not recommended that you swim in this event or use a hot tub.

Swim wear

Wetsuits are allowed, neoprene gloves/socks, and 1 or 2 silicone hats are recommended to help retain your body's heat. Old ex competitive wear such as long john skin suits are perfect ! – make use of old gear and bring plenty of dry costumes and towels. .

Extra clothing

Bring plenty of layers to put on when you get out -including a warm hat, coat, gloves and thick socks.


No person is immune from hypothermia. It is essential that you acclimatise yourself to cold water over a number of weeks, and gradually increase the time spent in cold water.

Ask for help

If you begin to feel faint, disorientated, ill, cannot stop shivering, cannot warm up, Buddies- please alert a lifeguard

Next event -postponed until further notice.

Apologies to all.

Have a look at what Outdoor Swimmer Magazine said.

If you want to subscribe to the magazine, you can find out more here.