Water Rescue

Prepare ropes, footballs and reaching poles on poolside.

Split the class into two teams, hopefully boys and girls. Send one to the far end of the pool. Brief the remaining team to “drown”, some to pretend to panic, other to imitate being unconscious on your signal. The “rescue” team are told that they are walking along a Red Flag beach when they see a group of children playing in the water. It is up to them to decide what action to take.

Just observe, don’t interact, then swap the groups around. Afterwards, ask for their verdicts on how the other team performed.

Explain the correct course of action, praise those who followed the rescue code

Demonstrate the skills needed for each task then send them off in groups of two or three to try:

Throw a ball 4m and hit a floating ring 3 out of 5

Throw a ball or torpedo buoy 4m to a casualty. Encourage them to grab it and kick back to side. 

Use a pole, rope or torpedo buoy to reach 2m to a casualty. Encourage them to grab it and kick back to side.

Demonstrate why lying down is so important.

Finish by creating a rescue situation with 2 casualties in the water, 2m & 5m away. Using an assortment of aides bring both back to the side. Jumping in is a fail!


What colour is the flag that means no swimming?

If you see someone in trouble what should you do?

Why should you never run near water?

What could you use to reach a person in trouble?

Why is it important to lie down when doing a reach rescue?

Where is it safe to swim?

Why should you never go into the water to rescue someone?

What number do you call in an emergency?