WITH spring having sprung, the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, the public is reminded to follow key RNLI advice when swimming and enjoying our rivers, lakes and when venturing out to the coast.

The RNLI's key safety advice for taking a dip is:

• Keep a close eye on your family in the water - don't allow your family to swim alone.

• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.

• If in doubt, stay out - there is always another day to go for a swim.

• Take plenty of warm clothes for before and after your dip, along with a hot drink to help you warm up again when you come out of the water.

• Wearing a wetsuit will help increase your buoyancy and reduce the chances of suffering cold water shock.

• Acclimatise to the water temperature slowly - never jump straight in.

• Stay in your depth and know your limits.

• If you get into trouble, remember FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing.

• Take a mobile telephone in a waterproof pouch.

• Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.

• Keep a close eye on your family on the beach, especially younger children.

• Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.

• Be seen - wear a brightly coloured swim cap and consider using a tow float.

• If you or someone else is in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

You can find more information on beach safety and how to enjoy cold water swimming at the RNLI website here: