While care has been taken when identifying wild swim locations to ensure they are as safe as possible, none of them are officially RLSS or RNLI lifeguard covered. All sites are accessed at individual risk. The sea temperature around Argyll can drop as low as 5 degrees in the winter and not peak much higher than 15 degrees in the summer. In open water terms, 15 degrees and below is considered “cold water”. Cold water incapacitation, hypothermia and “after drop” are all associated risks that must be taken seriously. Always respect the water - check the wind speed/direction, swell height and tides specific to the wild swimming location. If conditions change when you are in the water, adjust your plan accordingly. If in doubt, always seek the guidance of a local professional open water swim coach/wild swim guide or experienced local wild swimmers.
- Do not swim in cold open water if you are not feeling well or have been advised by your doctor not to.
- Check the wind direction/speed, swell height and tides in advance and again when at the site.
- Always make yourself visible to other water users by using a bright tow float and bright swim cap.
- Take care of your feet and wear protective footwear as surfaces can vary
- Swim your own swim. Swim to YOUR ability and experience.
- Wear appropriate kit according to your ability, experience and intentions i.e. a wetsuit
- At these sites, you may encounter a range of wildlife. Respect the habitat and in the case of marine mammals, do not approach and keep your distance.
- Always plan your entry/exit point with care thoroughly
- Prepare plenty of warm layers for after.
- Always inform someone of where you are and keep a fully charged/waterproof covered mobile phone close to hand.
This advice has been provided by local open water swim coach Dan Coyle (STA open water swim coach, RLSS open water safety management, lifesaving & rescue).