Swimming

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

The sea and rivers can have dangerous currents and many tourists drown as a result of the combination of alcohol and swimming.

Stagnant water and rivers can be contaminated with chemicals or pathogens, such as schistosomaleptospirosis or toxic algae.

Properly chlorinated swimming pool water is generally not a problem.  

Prevention

Footwear

Wear water shoes in the sea or river.

Do not walk on bare feet on the beach and always sit on a thick towel or mat on the beach. 

General recommendations

Only swim in designated areas and follow the local guidelines and warnings. 

Ask the local population about any dangerous currents.

Children

Keep a close eye on children. Drowning is the major cause of death in children whilst travelling.

Diving

Do not dive into shallow or unfamiliar water. 

Have a medical examination first and follow a diving course before you go diving. 

Do not dive alone.

More information about safe diving.

Alcohol and drugs

Never go in the water after consuming drugs or alcohol.

Sea animals

Do not touch sea animals, corals or rocks.

Swallowing water

Do not swallow water.

Life jacket

Wear a life jacket on watercraft and do not consume drugs or alcohol if you are sailing.

Sun

Protect yourself against the sun, because water reflects sunlight. 

Wounds

Disinfect any wounds thoroughly to prevent infections.

In case of symptoms

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

Also refer to wounds and skin infections and swimmer’s ear.  

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