Council makes waves with cold water swimming safety courses in Mid and East Antrim
Cold water sea swimming now seems to be NI's worst kept secret, with a growing following of people enjoying sunrise and sunset dips across the country.
Particularly with lockdowns, we've seen an increase in the number of people taking to the water looking for ways to connect with each other and with the green and blue spaces in their local areas.
With this in mind, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been hosting cold water swimming safety courses to equip people with the skills to appropriately risk assess and manage the hazards of a cold water swimming environment, and be able to deal with an emergency situation. Visitors to Ballygally beach recently may have witnessed a group of wetsuit clad people simulating rescue situations, including using throw lines to reach people in the water and carrying out defibrillator training.
Participants were all active cold water swimmers, who either swim with groups or on their own. In total, 6 local swimming groups took part, showing a real community spirit across the borough. One of the swimmers who took part said:
"This is without doubt one of the best and most valuable courses I have ever been on. I'm more confident now to react safely to an emergency situation and I have also learned what not to do."
The courses were funded as part of the El Capiten initiative which encompasses partners across the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and the Canary Islands. It's focused on the promotion of activities including sailing, canoeing, paddle boarding and windsurfing, as ideal ways to explore our coastline and major rivers.
For more information and further courses, keep an eye on council's social media pages or email: