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Rules & Safety

Rules & Safety

Swimming at our sessions is for Uswim members only, and solely at specified Uswim Openwater session times. No unauthorised use of Dock 9 or Boundary Water Park is permitted at any other time.

Minors (under 16 years old) must be accompanied by a parent or appointed guardian although not necessarily in the water itself. If the responsible guardian is confident of their under 16's swim ability and competence in the open water then it is acceptable for them to swim on their own or, ideally, with a friend. It is important, however, to make them aware of what to do if needing assistance such as raising their arm for support. 

Please make sure you register on our site and choose a membership. This provides us with your important emergency contact and medical information. Alternatively you can swim with Uswim as a 'non-member' by completing a session disclaimer at the venue.

Bring the kit you'll need such as swim wear (hats, goggles, ear plugs), correct entry fee (£5 members, £8 non members). 

Uswim also offers a variety of Swim Courses to provide you with the confidence and skills to get the most from your open water experience.

WEAR A WETSUIT (optional) / SWIM CAP (compulsory).

Wetsuits help keep you warm but will also act as a buoyancy aid. Highly recommended for people new to the sport. Once you're fully experienced give 'skins' a go!

Swim caps are compulsory as they help our safety team keep a watchful eye on you while swimming and provide much needed warmth. They are available for sale at the venues if required (£5 thick silicone, £3.50 thin latex) 

SWIM WITH A FRIEND (if possible)

  • Swim within your ability and try to swim with others of similar ability
  • Note that you are responsible for ensuring your own safety


  • If you cannot physically swim to the water’s edge, roll onto your back, raise your arm and wait for help from our safety team

and look to the water safety team for instructions. This indicates that there is an emergency in the water.

To reduce the chance of any infection please rinse shower after you come out of the water. This is also a precaution against Weil’s disease. Wash any open wounds and ears, etc. If you develop any flu like symptoms it is important to inform your GP.


Safety Advice

We want you to be as safe and happy as possible while keeping our sessions friendly and accessible for all swimmers.
However, no liability can be accepted by Uswim Limited and participation at our swim sessions is entirely at your own risk. Use your discretion if you are unsure of your ability to swim in adverse conditions.

  • If you are unsure whether you should swim discuss this with our Coach or reception team.
  • Minor cuts and abrasions must be covered with a plaster. If you have any deep cuts it is recommended that you do not swim.
  • Likewise, do not swim if unwell or taking medication which affects you adversely.
  • Do not endanger yourself and others by swimming under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you are unwell after open water swimming and suffering with flu-like symptoms / severe headaches, see your GP as soon as possible and state that you have been swimming in open water. You could be suffering from Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease and early diagnosis and treatment is paramount. These conditions are rare but can be picked up from open water swimming.
  • Try not to swallow any water and after swimming it is good practice not to eat until you have washed hands in fresh water, and take a shower at the earliest opportunity.
  • Don’t overestimate your swimming ability, especially in Winter or early in the summer when the water is cold. Swimming ability is severely decreased in cold water.
  • Judge your ability to participate based on your swimming skills without the assistance of rafts and other flotation devices.
  • Never dive into shallow water, or water of unknown depth.
  • Avoid an ultra-violet sunburn by wearing a high factor sun cream.
  • Stay hydrated before, during and after the swim session.