Club position regarding open water swimming

Following the governments recent relaxation of lockdown, which enables certain outdoor activities to recommence there has been speculation on various platforms as to when LBT’s open water swimming sessions will start.

As a committee we understand your desire to get back in the water, but LBT will not be starting open water swimming sessions at the moment for the following reasons –

  • We are a club that operates under British Triathlon’s governance and guidance, as such all club activities are suspended until July 4th (and subject to 1 week rolling review thereafter).
  • Our insurance is provided by affiliation to British Triathlon, if we were to deviate from their stated position we would immediately invalidate our insurance.

When British Triathlon’s position changes and they permit club activities to restart there will be significant hurdles and challenges to overcome to enable open water swimming to commence whilst complying with government guidance and social distancing.

LBT’s open water swimming sessions have some unique challenges, including –

  • The large number of volunteers required to safely run sessions, typically 10. These volunteers would have to be willing to actively participate in the evacuation of a casualty from the water.
  • Qualified first aid volunteers who are willing to come into close contact with a casualty.
  • The club will need to source and purchase appropriate PPE for all volunteers
  • All equipment used during sessions will require cleaning and sanitizing, this will require us to purchase equipment and supplies, as well as develop processes to facility it.
  • There is currently no access to the club house at the Sailing Club, as a result there is no toilet or changing facilities available.
  • There will be a reduction in the number of people able to swim at each session. As a result session cost will increase significantly in order to make them financially viable.
  • The water will require testing and the results received to confirm that the lake is safe, before any swimming can commence. There also does not appear to be any clear research / opinion as to whether COVID 19 is transmissible in water.
  • The revision of risk assessment, standard operation procedures and emergency evacuation plans in light of COVID 19, and available advice.

As a committee we are working hard to try and find solutions, and prepare for the time when LBT’s open water swimming sessions can restart, but they can only do so when –

  • We as a committee feel they can be run in a safe manner that does not pose a risk to our volunteers who we depend upon to deliver these sessions, or those participating in them.
  • The operation of the sessions is unlikely to place a burden on our overstretched emergency services.
  • Club activities are sanctioned and insured by British Triathlon.


Take care and stay safe


LBT Committee