1. Fight your instinct to thrash around
2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs
3. If you need to, gently move them around to help you float
4. Float until you can control your breathing
5. Only then, call for help or swim to safety
If you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until the cold water shock passes.
The average temperature of British and Irish waters is 12-15°C – cold enough to cause cold water shock. Cold water shock makes you gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water, which can quickly lead to drowning.
Fight your instinct to swim, pause, and float on your back until you are able to catch your breath. Doing so may save your life.