Beach Safety

Beaches and coastlines are great places to enjoy a range of water sports and other activities. Whichever activity you're taking part in, take responsibility for your safety by making sure you are prepared for the conditions and properly trained. Follow these safety tips and find out where to get the right training.

If you see someone in difficulty, don't attempt a rescue - tell a lifeguard, or dial 999/112 and ask for the coastguard.

All sports have their own rules but there are some general safety tips that apply to all water activities:

Cliff climbing

It's important to have training for cliff climbing so you understand climbing techniques and how to use the right gear and safety equipment. For advice about safety, training and where to climb, contact the British Mountaineering Council.

Personal watercraft

A personal water craft (PWC) is a water vehicle that the rider sits or stands on. They are commonly known by brand names, like Jet Ski, Wave Runner or Sea Doo. Riding a PWC can be a risky activity if you are inexperienced or unprepared. It's a good idea to become a member of a PWC club or organisation, as they organise training days.


The national governing body for sailing is the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). Check the RYA website for information about training. Follow the links below for more information about training and safety on board yachts and other pleasure craft.

Scuba diving

All beginner divers are recommended to enrol in a recognised training course that will lead to a scuba diving certificate. The four main agencies that offer training are the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the Sub-Aqua Association (SAA), and the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club (SSAC).