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The new RLSS Open Water Lifeguard qualification aims to set an industry best practice and make the water safer for all of us, says Jonathan Cowie

I am stood on the edge of the lake. It is early October and the water is cold, but a group of triathletes are in the lake and heading towards a small island. A bitter wind drives across the lake’s edge. As I watch their progress towards the island, a couple of swimmers gingerly make their way into the water. The shore gently shelves away, meaning a long walk into the lake before it is deep enough to swim. I turn my attention back towards the triathletes, who are now nearly at the island.

“Help!” One of the swimmers is shouting at me, an arm round his girlfriend as he helps her hobble back to shore.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

As spring finally arrives, it is time to start planning your summer swims. We have features on wild swimming in Spain and Florida and full event listings for races in the UK and around the world. Plus, we report from Russia and the UK on the final flurry of the season’s cold water swimming competitions. In this issue’s performance zone, as well as all the usual training and nutrition advice, we teach you how to master easy butterfly. This issue we celebrate a true pioneer of the open water: Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was an independent working class woman who promoted open water swimming to a new audience.
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