Children get life-saving Swim Safe lessons at South Shields beach

Children have been getting life-saving lessons in a project aimed at keeping them safe in the water.

Dozens of youngsters have been taking part in Swim Safe, the free national outdoor swimming and water safety programme for children, at Sandhaven Beach in South Shields.

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

The Swim England and RNLI partnership offers free lessons to seven-to-14 year olds teaching children how to swim outdoors and what do if they get into trouble in the water.

The sessions are taking place at North Bay in Sandhaven until this Saturday August 4.

Matt Thompson, Swim Safe coordinator for Sandhaven, said: "Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn.

"Swim Safe is a free, fun activity that teaches kids lifelong skills that will help them enjoy open water safely.

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

"Parents and carers are also encouraged to get involved and find out more about how their children can stay safe at the beach and by the open water."

Children aged 7­–­­­14 who can swim at least 25 metres can take part in the scheme. Wetsuits and swim hats are provided for the session and all young people will get free tee-shirt.

Swim England and the RNLI launched Swim Safe in 2013 at a single venue in Cornwall. Now in its sixth year, Swim Safe has grown to include 29 locations across the UK hosting sessions for the public and local schools.

Swim Safe’s goal is for all children in the UK and Ireland to grow up with the skills to stay safe in and around the open water. Find out more at swimsafe.org.uk.

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven

Swim Safe sessions at Sandhaven