Before heading into an open water environment it is important that you have a realistic assessment of your own competence.
Test your skill and comfort level in a safe environment such as a pool.
Practice all competencies including the following. Try them in swimwear, wearing clothes and with a lifejacket on.
You should also learn safe ways to rescue someone without putting yourself in danger.
Watch the video below for an overview of Bystander Rescue.
Also, complete our Bystander Rescue topic in the Youth and Young Adults e-learning module that covers this important skill.