Respect the Water is the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign, highlighting the risks of cold water shock. When you fall into water below 15°C, you instinctively gasp for air, increasing your chance of inhaling water. Instead, relax and float for around 90 seconds to minimise this risk.
5 steps to float
1. Fight your instinct to thrash around
2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs
3. If you need to, gently move your arms and legs to help you float
4. Float until you can control your breathing
5. Only then, call for help or swim to safety