GSC launches water safety campaign

February 2, 2024

Living on an island, nowhere is too far from the sea. Guernsey’s maritime environment is something very special to be enjoyed by the whole community, including our many visitors to the island. But the risks and dangers of this environment should not be underestimated.

The Guernsey Sports Commission is aiming to help improve water safety and provide the community with the skills, confidence, and competence to have fun both in and on the water.

‘I’ve been working in and on the sea for many years and I’ve seen the growth in the number of people using the water for leisure-based activities, said Alan Jenner, the Commission’s Outdoor & Adventure Sports Development Officer.

‘We are seeing more and more kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and surfers as well as a huge increase in cold water swimming which attracts hundreds if not thousands into the sea year-round.

‘It’s fantastic that so many people are enjoying our world class natural environment, but we really want to make sure they are aware of the potential dangers and know what to do to keep safe,’ said Alan.

The Commission is launching a range of opportunities to provide water safety training through its Holdfast Water Skills Academy, including a States of Guernsey approved and 1st4Sport accredited water safety qualification.

‘We can offer everything from general community water safety awareness training to bespoke courses for businesses, hotels with swimming pools or staff from restaurants and bars near to the Guernsey coastline,’ said Alan.

‘We have also developed a Guernsey-specific water safety qualification which is delivered at three different levels which aims to ensure all the principles and skills required are well understood and practiced.

‘I think we have been fortunate that to date we have not had a major water safety incident or even a fatality, but we have been close and should not be complacent.

‘By raising awareness and teaching people the life skills they need to be safe on and in the water, we hope to be able to preserve our good water safety record.’

The Commission has also been working closely with other stakeholders, including the Coastguard and RNLI, to develop a Water Safety Strategy for Guernsey. We will be publicising and sharing the strategy over the coming months.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the water safety training we can offer can contact Alan on 07781 118253 or email  

A copy of the Holdfast Water Skills Academy information leaflet can be downloaded at