When tourists and travellers embark on their adventures, they often seek out new experiences and explore unfamiliar environments. Unfortunately, open water accidents and drowning incidents can occur, posing a significant risk to their safety.
Lack of swimming skills, underestimating water conditions, lack of awareness about local safety measures, and unfamiliarity with the water environment are mainly responsible for the accidents. It is crucial for tourists and travellers, especially those going into the ocean, river, or any open water bodies, to be aware of the potential dangers and take necessary precautions to prevent drowning.
Open Water Safety Tips for Tourists
Learn Swimming Skills
It is highly recommended to have basic swimming skills before going into open water. Travellers need to take swimming lessons to improve their abilities and build confidence. Knowing how to float, tread water, and swim basic strokes can significantly enhance your safety in the water.
Stay within Your Comfort Zone
It's essential to assess one’s own swimming abilities and stay within one’s comfort zone. Avoid venturing into deep or fast-flowing water, if one is not confident.
It’s always safe not to attempt activities beyond your own skill level, such as diving in unfamiliar areas or swimming long distances without proper training. When the tourists attempt to swim in a new area, they should try to stick where they feel comfortable and safe, considering their swimming proficiency and experience.
Take Local Advice
Bangladesh is known for its vast network of rivers, and some areas have strong currents. It would be better to familiarise yourself with the water conditions and potential hazards in the specific location you plan to visit. Currents can be unpredictable, so it is important to understand their behaviour and take necessary precautions.
Travellers can seek advice from local authorities, experienced water sports professionals, or knowledgeable guides. The local people can provide valuable insights about the local water conditions, any specific precautions to take, and areas to avoid.
Observe Warning Signs
Experts suggest paying close attention to warning signs, flags, or instructions from local authorities regarding water conditions. These signs may indicate high tide, strong currents, dangerous areas, or any other potential hazards. Tourists should always follow these guidelines to ensure their own safety.
Wear a Life Jacket
If you are not a strong swimmer or when participating in activities like boating, kayaking, or rafting, wearing a properly fitted life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) can enhance safety. Life jackets provide buoyancy and can save lives in the event of an accident or unexpected water conditions. Besides, it is necessary to ensure the life jacket is in good condition and properly fastened.