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Water Safety Code

Know before you go - the Water Safety Code

The Water Safety Code consists of four simple rules to remember each time you venture near the water. It serves as a great starting point for planning a safe aquatic adventure. 

Be prepared

  • Learn water safety skills - akona te kauhoe.
  • Set rules for being safe in the water including safe play
  • Always use safe and correct equipment including lifejackets and know the weather and water conditions before you get in.
  • Be alert to changing marine conditions.

Watch out for yourself and others

  • Adults - always actively supervision children and keep children under five years old within arm's reach at all times.
  • Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present. Don't swim alone.
  • Never go diving or fishing for kai alone or with a medical condition. If you get into trouble there's no one to help.

Be aware of the dangers

  • Check for safety signs, warning flags, currents and rips.
  • Enter shallow and unknown water feet first.
  • It may be easy getting into water, but can you get out?
  • Your clothing in the water may drag you down.
  • DO NOT enter the water after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Know your limits

  • Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
  • Think about what you can and can't do in the water.
  • Being in the water will make you tired. Get out before you've reached your limit. Cold water will make it worse.
  • Always know that the weather or water conditions are stronger than you.
  • Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger. Throw something into the water such as a chilliebin or plastic bottles for buoyancy. If you throw a rope, lie down on your stomach to make the rescue.


Download the Water Safety Code here

Or visit the AdventureSmart website with 17 languages available from

Know before you go - the basic Water Safety Code

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