Water Watchers: A British Swim School Safety Program

Why Water Watchers?

Too many drownings and near drowning accidents happen within a few yards of adults. Drowning, in contrast to common belief, is frequently silent and goes unnoticed. Many little ones have died within a few feet of a crowd of people. This is why we have introduced the Water Watcher Safety Program!

Our goal is to introduce this Water Watcher card into as many homes as possible. We believe that given the number of pools in our neighborhoods, when correctly used, the Water Watcher Safety Program may save many lives. We ask that a responsible adult(s) wear the Water Watcher badge at all pool gatherings.

How Do Water Watchers Work?

The Water Watcher has one function: It is to act as a drowning prevention tool. The person wearing the lanyard has only one job responsibility—watching the pool. That responsibility is not relinquished until the pool is either empty of swimmers, or the badge is handed on to another person, who then becomes the new Water Watcher. The appointed Water Watcher should never ever leave the area, not even for a moment, unless the badge has been passed on to another responsible person. That new person will then have to carry on as the chosen Water watcher.

Characteristics of an Appropriate Water Watcher:

  • At least 16 years of age (adults preferred)
  • Has the skills, knowledge, and the ability to recognize and rescue someone in distress or can immediately alert someone nearby who does or can.
  • Knows CPR or can immediately alert someone nearby who can.
  • Has a working phone to call for emergency help, which is typically 9-1-1.
  • Has a floatation device and/or reaching object that can be used in a rescue.
  • Is ALERT and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted by texting, telephone, or talking to others or reading.

Download a Water Watcher badge

Appoint a “Water Watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings near any body of water. Download a Water Watcher badge to help you and your friends take turns supervising your children!


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