Today, Debbie Stanton was thrilled to receive her 10 x swims badge! πŸ‘
Here's Chris Smy proudly receiving his badge on Thursday following a choppy swim during the build up to hitting us all yesterday. Well done Chris πŸ‘
Another great idea of where to put your badges, on your dryrobe! Well done to Alison for achieving her 10 x badge with us here at St Andrews Lakes πŸ‘
Here's Julie, Naomi & Rachel with their swim badges. Congratulations to both Naomi & Rachel who've completed 25 swims so far and Julie has completed 10 πŸ‘

Rachel had already been showing off her first 10 swims badge sewn to her bobble hat, if you'd like a warm hat check out or variety within our watersports shop 😎
Here's Lins & Peter collecting their today! Extra special mention for Peter who's topping the St Andrews Lakes leaderboard with an impressive total of 38 swims so far!! πŸ‘
The is out for January! How did you rank? 🏊
Two days to go!! There’s still time to sign up for our Bicester Icebreaker this Saturday from 12-2pm πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

Sign up now -

Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa Daily Info Oxford Open Water Swimming UK Outdoor Swimming Society
Hi I'm Sutton born and bred & just sharing this with yourselves in order to helo save the SSC. So I hope you don't mind me putting this forward to yourselves In order to save the club from failing like its said it is, and the possibility of it closing like I know it may do You could benefit hopefully and probably by this sort of thing and from a company called check it out and see what they've done for other sailing clubs, please give it a thought. I do open water swimming through these people at Hoveringham & they're brilliant. There's so much potential in our area in Sutton in Ashfield & it could do with a makeover & would be great all round, everyone would benefit πŸŠπŸ»β€β™€οΈβ›΅πŸš€πŸ›ΆπŸš² follow them on Facebook and see what they do
The last swimmer in the lake.
Another day in paradise at work today. What beauty nature brings. What joy the people of the lake bring.
Love Open Water
Are you a NOWCA member? You can now get a discount on our challenges through NOWCA Perks! Check in the app or login on the website for details. Race Hub
Cold Water Swimming: A Safety Guide

Cold water swimming is a fantastic winter activity and growing in popularity. Read NOWCA's safety guide before you embark on your cold water journey so you can enjoy the experience safely throughout the season.

Read the full guidance here:

It took a while to commit to the water this morning.
With the water temp at 12Β°c and dropping every week, each swim becomes a delicious battle between mind and body.
Thank you to for documenting the fact that I did (slowly slowly) get into the lake today for a final lap of the big course before we bring it in for the winter.
I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to run this lake. Every shift brings laughter, joy, philosophy, discussion, challenges and…chocolate!
Love Open Water

The largest network of open water swimming venues across the UK. Over 40 OWS venues available to its

Members have access to accident insurance, including their commute to a venue as well as access to over 40 lakes. Depending on the Tier of membership they will also have access to discounted swims via NOWCA GOLD. All members gain access to the NOWCA Perks scheme with over 15 business partners offering relevant discounts for those with an active membership. Members wear the NOWCA safety band and sc

Operating as usual


Sub10 award badge anyone? Anyone?


Are you keen to keep swimming in open water this Winter season and wondering what difference a thermal wetsuit could make to your swimming? Our partner and wetsuit experts, Tri Wetsuit Hire, give their take on thermal wetsuits.

Read the full article at our website:


Many venues will close over this festive period to allow their staff to spend some quality time with family and friends. If you plan to continue swimming during this time without the security of lifeguards or safety teams then please ensure you take the necessary precautions to stay safe.

Here are some key things that can help you have a safe cold water experience, particularly if you plan to continue swimming when your favourite venue is closed:

πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Don’t swim alone – choose a swim buddy/spotter/lifeguarded venue
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Walk slowly and carefully in case there is ice on the ground.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Assess your water entry and exit points – make sure you are able to get out with cold hands and feet.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Wear a tow float and bright head wear so you are highly visible in the water.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Take your time getting in the water – go slow and DEEP BREATHS!
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Shorten your time in the water – it’s better to get out before you get too cold.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ When you exit the water, don’t stop to chat – get changed first and as swiftly as possible.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Pack extra layers of warm clothes that are easy to put on – avoid zips and buttons!
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Bring a warm hat, gloves, socks and scarf.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ Make sure you pack a hot drink and snack for afterwards.
πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ During your post-swim warming you can relax, hang out, have a natter, get a warm drink and a snack. Make sure you are properly warmed up before you leave – especially if you are driving!

Remember, we also offer a range of safety resources including:

⭐️ Cold Water Swimming Safety Guide:

⭐️ FREE Cold Water Quiz – Mini or Master version:

⭐️ Cold Water Induction Online Course – 70% off at NOWCA Perks:

You can also check the Met Office maps for up to date weather forecasts:

Photo: Outdoor Swimmer Magazine


Get to NOWCA Perks pronto!


We have just released a limited number of Dock2Dock 2023 tickets. These tickets are exclusively available to NOWCA members only. Simply head to NOWCA Perks and follow the link to automatically get 15% off your full priced event tickets:

If you are not a NOWCA member, then you can simply sign up on the ACTiO app:

You must be a NOWCA member to take part in the Dock2Dock event, so you may as well sort out your membership now so you can get your 15% discount!

And just a heads up... This is your ONLY chance to get a discounted ticket on general entries - there will NOT be any Early Bird offers next year. The only other discounts on offer will be a Group Discount (10% off for 10+ entries) and 'Swim for Sea Cadets' tickets at 40% off full priced tickets with a pledge to fundraise Β£200. These will be available from late January 2023.

Visit our website for more info:


πŸŽ‰ CONGRATS TO OUR LUCKY WINNER... Esther Caruso! You've won a Swim Secure 28L Dry Bag for you and one for your tagged Facebook friend, Speedy Barbara. Please DM us to claim your prize!

If you didn't win this time, don't worry.... we'll have another giveway in the new year!


What is shivering?

A) A sign that your body is going into cold water shock.

B) A sign that you are dangerously cold and need to call an ambulance.

C) Nerve impulses rapidly contracting to generate heat.

D) Bones rapidly vibrating to generate heat

🏊 Find out how much you really know about cold water swimming and how it affects your body. Take our FREE Cold Water Quiz - choose from the Master or Mini version.

🏊 Sign up for our Cold Water Induction Online Course offering bite-sized modules for more focused learning. Complete the course in your own time at your own pace. Learn about the benefits and risks of cold water, how to manage your swims safely, and the equipment you need. Remember, NOWCA members get 70% off at NOWCA Perks!

Visit our website for more info:


The final part of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at STAY SAFE & GET HELP:

- Ensure your NOWCA account details are up to date at all times, including medical and emergency contact details.

- Avoid false or misinformation online, contact the professionals.

- For medical guidance, contact your GP or pharmacist for advice.

- For open water guidance, visit our website or contact your local NOWCA affiliated venue.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Love OPen Water Milton Keynes, a NOWCA affiliated venue


Part 6 of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at AFTER YOUR SWIM:

After your cold water swim, the aim is to bring your core temperature up to normal (37Β°C) and to preserve it. On exiting the water, we recommend that you warm up slowly:

- Using your NOWCA safety wristband, you must tap-out after you exit the water (before you leave the venue).

- Your body temperature will continue to drop after you get out of the water so it is important to dry off after your swim and change into clean, dry clothing as swiftly as possible.

- If you have cold, shivering hands, don’t be shy to ask for help – especially with buttons and zippers!

- To help keep warm, put on extra layers such as a coat, woolly hat, socks, gloves and a scarf.
Consume a warm drink and a snack to refuel your body.

- Allow your body to warm up naturally. Avoid taking a hot shower/bath immediately after your swim as this may make your core temperature to drop faster and lower.

- Give yourself time to warm up before you drive.

- Rinse your swim kit with cold water when you get home to clean it off and prevent musty smells. This also minimises biological transfer between different swimming sites and helps to keep your swim kit in good condition and lasting longer.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: St Andrews Lakes Swimming , a NOWCA affiliated venue


Part 5 of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at PREPARING FOR COLD WATER:

We would recommend that you acclimatise yourself to cold water swimming:

- If you are new to cold water swimming, we recommend you start in the summer when the water tends to be β€˜warmer’ – the water temperature in the UK is generally considered cold all year round. Swim regularly to acclimitise yourself to the water.

- Attend regular open water swim sessions through Autumn and Winter. This way your body will get used to the water temperature as it falls.

- Have regular cold showers or baths – this will help you prepare your body for the temperature change.

- Set a realistic and sensible cold water swim plan. It is important that you do not push yourself to the limits with the time you spend in cold water. The longer you’re in the cold the more dangerous it becomes as once you do leave the water, your body will continue to cool.

- Speak to the venue staff, coaches or safety crew for advice and guidance. They are highly experienced with open water swimming, including cold water swimming. The qualified coaches and lifeguards can provide useful tips and help you better plan your swim expectations.

- If you are swimming skins then make sure you know the water temperature and keep an eye on the time you spend in the water.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Chasewater Open Water Swimming, a NOWCA affiliated venue

Chase Open water Swimming


Part 4 of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at IN THE WATER:

As the water temperature drops you should take these simple steps that are essential to staying safe in cold water:

- Familiarise yourself with the venue’s safety rules and follow them at all times. They are there to keep everyone safe.

- If it’s your first cold water swim then please tell the lifeguard on duty before you get into the water.

- Using your NOWCA wristband, ensure you tap-in before you enter the water for your swim session. Venue staff will monitor swimmers to help reduce risk.

- Entry to your cold water swim session should be via the steps or ramp. Everybody will experience cold water shock initially and you might feel disorientated. DO NOT jump or dive into the water – the shock of a quick entry into cold water can be very dangerous.

- Use the breathing techniques you’ve learnt through your open water swimming coaching and experiences – deep, slow and steady breaths will help you acclimatise to the water.

- Decrease the length of time you would normally spend in the water and adjust the distance you swim. Always get out knowing you could do more rather than stay in too long and have a bad experience.

- Stay aware and recognise the signs of risk within yourself before someone else. Be wary that if you stay in for an extra few minutes over what feels comfortable, your body can start to confuse you by sending signals of elation and warmth that aren’t really there. This is when the situation can become critical.

- If you need help while in the water, stay calm and raise your hand or blow your whistle to get the attention of staff or other swimmers. The safety crew will come to assist you. You can float on your back if you are tired.

- Be kind and courteous to one another. NOWCA welcome all swim abilities and we are all at different points in our cold water swim journey.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Queenford Lakes Open Water Swimming , a NOWCA affiliated venue


Part 3 of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at EQUIPMENT:

It is always important to have the right equipment for any activity and cold water swimming is no different. These essential safety items will ensure you are visible to venue staff and other swimmers:

- A tow float makes you visible to lifeguards

- A brightly coloured swim cap so you are visible while in the water, it also preserves your body heat.

- NOWCA safety wristband if you have one, new members can collect one at their nominated venue on the first swim.

- For extra safety, pack a whistle that you can wear around your wrist or wetsuit which will get attention if you need help in the water.

Other items for your cold water swim kit:

- Your swimsuit, also known as swimming in β€˜skins’.

- A wetsuit if desired, but wear your swimsuit under the wetsuit. Although not mandatory, we recommend wetsuits to aid exposure to cold water. You can hire wetsuits at some venues so please check ACTiO or contact the venue.

- A towel to dry off.

- Dry changing robe. This not only helps you change discretely but also keeps you warm immediately after your swim.

- Swimming goggles to protect your eyes if you plan to swim with your head under water. Bring a spare pair just in case! Ensure you anti-fog your goggles before your swim as a warm face in cold water will fog goggles quickly. Mask goggles can offer better vision.

- Neoprene gloves and boots – these extra accessories can help keep the extremities warm while you swim. You can wear these even if don’t wear a wetsuit.

- Weather appropriate, clean, dry clothing for after your swim. Lots of layers and items that are easy to put on are best. We recommended you bring a coat, woolly hat, socks, gloves and a scarf to help you keep warm after your swim.

- Always bring a warm drink and a snack help your post swim warming.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Love Open Water London Royal Docks, a NOWCA affiliated venue


Part 2 of our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming, today we take a look at EDUCATION:

There is an abundance of information available. However, be cautious and don’t rely on what you might read on social media or 'advice' from well-meaning friends/swimmers. There are a lot of cold water swimming myths around.

Complete a cold water swimming induction course to ensure you are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for your swim.

Induction courses will introduce you to the key skills you need to stay safe in cold water such as preparing for cold water swimming, body reactions to cold water, how to warm up, cold water shock, and identifying the signs of hypothermia. Remember every swimmer and every swim is individual and induction courses will advise you how to keep safe before, during and after your swim.

NOWCA offer a range of courses specific to cold water swimming:

Cold Water Master Quiz or Mini Quiz:
- Test your knowledge, bust those cold water myths, and make sure you really know all you need to know be safe and enjoy your cold water swimming.
- Free online

Cold Water Swimming Induction course:
- You can complete the NOWCA course online – get 70% off at NOWCA Perks.
- Some NOWCA affiliated venues also offer cold water induction courses onsite so check with your nearest venue.
- Some affiliated venues require NOWCA members to complete a cold water swimming induction (either online or at the venue) before you swim in water temperatures below 10Β°C.
- Check the cold water swimming requirements for your local venue.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Watersedge Watersports , a NOWCA affiliated venue


This week we walk you through our 7 step safety guide for cold water swimming.

Today we start with the VENUE:

Cold water swimming is beneficial for health and wellbeing, but as with all things in life, the activity comes with some level of risk. You should never swim alone regardless of your experience or ability. A managed venue is a safe option for cold water swimming.

- Choose a safe venue that has qualified lifeguards during cold water swim sessions.

- You will also be able to get cold water swimming advice and guidance from the venue staff before and after your swim.

- Attending a NOWCA affiliated venue means you get the extra benefit of our world-class tap-in, tap-out safety system which allows the safety crew to effectively manage the number of swimmers in and out of the water and monitor the safety of swimmers.

- Some venues offer cold water swimming clubs where you can join other passionate swimmers and have a support system for your swim journey.

- Make sure you speak to staff and lifeguards before you swim. Find out the water temperature, the course, and the venue facilities so there are no unexpected surprises.

Read our full guidance here:

Photo: Pillaton Hall Farm Campsite , a NOWCA affiliated venue

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