Personal Competence

Know Your Limits

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.

Test how far you can swim

Distance

How far can you swim without stopping?
Test the length of time you can swim continually

Time

Time yourself for a set distance.
Practice floating

Flotation

Make sure you practice floating.
Submersion

Submersion

Check your level of confidence and ability submersing yourself underwater.
Practice retrieving objects

Retrieving

Practice retrieving objects from the bottom.
Exiting the water safely

Exiting

Ensure you can exit the water safely and effectively.
Bystander Rescue

You should also learn safe ways to rescue someone without putting yourself in danger.