Safety of Self and Others


  • Float and signal for help with and without a flotation aid
  • Do a reach rescue and a throw rescue with a buddy
  • Perform this sequence: correctly fit a lifejacket, do a step entry into deep water, float in the H.E.L.P. position, then with a couple of buddies or a group form a huddle, return to edge and get out


Students should:

  • Reassure the person in trouble
  • Understand that the person attempting rescue is always on land and keeps a safe distance from the person in difficulty
  • Be able to select and throw a variety of items that can be used as flotation or reaching and towing aids
  • Understand the H.E.L.P. position (Heat Escape Lessening Position)

Some more information

The first skill in this series should be assessed as achieved when a student floats confidently (with or without a floatation aid), signals for help with one arm raised above the head and calls for help.

Reach and throw rescue skills should always be practised and assessed with the rescuer on dry land. A student would be marked as achieved once they are able to identify when help is needed and perform both forms of rescue. One form of rescue would be assessed as not yet achieved.

The H.E.L.P./huddle sequence is assessed as achieved when the student can perform it in one smooth series of movements.  If movements are still to be learnt individually the student would receive a not yet achieved. It is an example of what a student can choose to demonstrate on their own when they are demonstrating their overall competency

See How to check whether students are competent in water safety - Fundamental water safety 

Supporting video

Example skills were filmed in a 1m deep pool.
For more useful video links, see our multimedia page

Top Tip

Get creative and let students choose an unconventional floatation device such as a chilly bin or plastic milk bottles.


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