Submersion – Getting Under the Water


  • Get under water, open eyes and control breathing
  • Pick up an object from under the water
  • Dive from a horizontal position in the water and move underwater for a slow count to five


Students should:

  • Be able to show water familiarity and a rhythmic breathing pattern. This builds towards controlling breathing
  • Be relaxed
  • Dive from gliding horizontally on the water to beneath the water — and not from the side of the pool 

Some more information 

These skills can be successfully taught in both shallow and deep water. The key to successful submersion is that the student is relaxed, comfortable in the water and able to control their breathing.

A student has achieved submersion once they are able to perform all skills confidently.

If the student has mastered some but not all the skills, they should be assessed as not yet achieved.


Supporting video

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

Top Tip

A student can build and extend on these skills even after they have been achieved. For example, a student could be asked to pick up an object in deeper water or, for the very advanced, retrieve a lifesaving practice dummy.


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