Thursday, May 21, 2020 Statement on Outdoor Swimming in Scotland In response to the First Minister’s announcement today about the phased easing of restrictions including some outdoor sports, Scottish Swimming would like to offer some advice around open water swimming in the current climate. Scottish Swimming has been working with the RLSS, Swim England and Swim Wales, and would urge everyone to recognise the following: Social distancing guidelines still apply and we NEVER advise taking part in open water swimming alone If you are not used to swimming in open water, we strongly urge you NOT to start now Open water sites including beaches and lochs are not currently supervised. There is no one to help you if you get in trouble and emergency services may not be able to get to you in time Clubs should not be encouraging or providing training sessions even for seasoned open water swimmers Levels of blue algae will not have been monitored in recent weeks so there is risk of illness While the weather has been good over the past few weeks, the temperature of the water remains cold. Cold water shock is real and wetsuits do not prevent it We must continue to support our frontline key workers by not making any unnecessary trips to pursue outdoor activities We do recognise the importance of sport in people’s lives and the desire to get back to some sort of normality, and while we welcome the news about the easing of some restrictions, the default message remains that we should stay at home as much as possible for the time being, and not put any undue risk and pressure on the NHS and Emergency Services. We will be publishing more detailed guidance with information about what you should consider when open water swimming in due course.