Open Water Swimming Terms & Conditions

ASSUMPTION OF RISK, WAIVER AND RELEASE AGREEMENT FOR SWIMMING & WATER-BASED ACTIVITIES

I agree that I understand all of the inherent dangers of swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding (water-based activities), and understand basic rules for these activities.

I understand and agree that the purpose of my swimming/water-based activities are strictly recreational, and that it is not the function of the staff of Andark Lake or anyone employed by Andark Lake to serve as the guardian(s) of my safety. I agree that I am in good health and of suitable fitness and swimming ability to partake in swimming and water-based activities at Andark Lake.

I understand Andark Lake staff may provide advice or assistance to me, and I agree to hold harmless Andark Lake, or any of its agents, staff or leader(s) for any of their actions in attempting to be of assistance to me. I do not expect Andark Lake, Andark, or its agents to supervise or control my activities in any way. By signing this document, I assume all responsibility for my actions, property loss or damage, personal injury, or wrongful death, even if caused by the negligence of Andark Lake staff or agents.

I further understand that swimming and water-based activities are physically strenuous activities and that I can exert myself by participating in these activities. If I am injured in any way, including but not limited to heart attack, panic, hyperventilation or drowning, I expressly assume all risk of these injuries, and in doing so, I exempt and release Andark Lake, or any of its staff or agents, from all liability or responsibility resulting from my participation in swimming or water-based activities.

I agree to wear appropriate thermal protection (i.e. wetsuit, swim cap), taking into consideration water temperature, my age, health and experience, and the activity I am partaking in. I further agree to wear a buoyancy aid at all times whilst taking part in kayaking, paddle boarding or any other surface/boating activity. I agree to swim with a tow float when water temperature is at 10 °c or lower as a minimum requirement, and at higher water temperatures as required, taking my age/health/experience into consideration. I understand that I am responsible for ensuring both the thermal protection and any buoyancy aids/devices used are suitable for myself, the conditions (i.e. water temp.) and the activity they are used for. I understand the risks associated with cold water swimming, including but not limited to cardiac arrhythmias causing cardiac arrest, and hypothermia. I further understand the risks that are present after swimming- such as ‘after drop,’ sauna use and/or showering- and have read and understood the relevant information and posters at relating to these. I understand that I should adapt the time I spend in the water to reflect the temperature and my ability and health, and that it is my sole responsibility to understand and reduce the risks associated with swimming, particularly in cold water.

I agree to be aware and cautious of other lake users and my surroundings at all times, in order to avoid collision and/or injury to myself or others. If partaking in kayaking or paddle boarding I agree to take precautions in order to avoid injury to myself and/or others whilst handling the kayak/paddle board, and the paddles, both on the surface and in the water.

I am aware that Andark Lake is considered to be a remote location, and as a result, I further understand it can take emergency medical services 25-40 minutes to respond when called. However, it is my decision to swim/partake in water-based activities at Andark Lake knowing these facts and limitations.

I have read, understand and agree to abide by the Rules of Andark Lake (see reverse side of this form) during my swimming and/or water-based activities. I understand and agree that I am participating in these recreational activities voluntarily, and I agree to be completely responsible for my own actions.

I understand there are living creatures in the lake and on the lake site, including fish and other wildlife. I will be aware of deer, foxes, badgers and any other wildlife on the site, especially at night.

COVID-19- I accept that my visit (and anyone who accompanies me) and use of facilities is fully at my own risk. I agree that I will not visit the site if I have had any Coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days.

I hereby declare that I am of legal age (over 18 years) and am competent to sign this waiver and release agreement, or that my parent or guardian will sign this document on my behalf if I am a minor.

In ticking this agreement, I acknowledge that I have read and understood it and agree to be bound by it.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING

Open water swimming IS NOT a lifeguarded activity. You MUST be a competent swimmer and be able to confidently swim 100m. The lake is a safe water space for training with an attendant & rescue equipment available BUT you are responsible for you health and fitness in regards to swimming.

Rules of Andark Lake

1. Diving or jumping into the water is strictly prohibited.

2. The consumption or use of any alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, is strictly prohibited.

3. Glass containers are prohibited from the lake premises.

5. Poaching (fishing, hunting and/or spearfishing) is strictly prohibited at Andark Lake.

6. All litter must be deposed of in refuse bins.

7. No unaccompanied children on site.

8. No dogs or pets on site.

9. Swimmers must not use the pontoon to enter/exit the lake.

COLD WATER SWIMMING

Cold water swimming is enjoyable and has a number of potential benefits, however there are also risks involved. These include (but are not limited to) cardiac arrhythmias causing cardiac arrest from cold water immersion and swim failure from rapid onset hypothermia affecting muscle function. Swimmers can also experience cold water shock, cramp, cold water urticarial (hives), and ‘after-drop’

Cold water shock is the body’s reaction to sudden cold– It begins with the gasp reflex and continues with uncontrolled hyperventilation. It can occur in temperatures of 15°C and lower- a particular risk is for those who submerge their face- where the body’s automatic response (breath holding), can conflict with the body’s cold shock response, which does the opposite (gasping)- which can cause the heart to go into abnormal rhythms and lead to death. Swimmers are required to wear a tow float and hat/cap when Lake temperature is below 15°

After-Drop is the decline in your core body temperature after you get out the water. This is related to the body’s response to being cold and associated blood flow. You may feel fine when in the water/immediately after exiting, but you still need to get dry, wrap up and rewarm as your core temperature may still drop further.

  • Let staff know if you feel unwell at any time
  • Adapt and limit the amount of time you spend in the water as the temperature drops, and taking your health and ability into account. Don’t push yourself, and exit if you begin to feel uncomfortable
  • Disrobe allowing enough time for the skin to cool before entering the water, don’t jump in or enter the water too quickly. Concentrate on exhaling as you enter the water.
  • Pay attention to physiological signs- such as numbness or tingling of the extremities, any discomfort or dizziness and exit the water. Look out for fellow swimmers.
  • Where possible, swim regularly to acclimatise to cold and cooling waters. If you have not recently swum or the water temperature has dropped since your last swim, factor this in to the time you spend in the water.
  • Rewarm by donning warm dry clothes, drinking a hot/sugary drink and entering the heated building. Do not go straight from cold water into a hot shower or sauna, or exercise vigorously.  Pay attention to the information displayed regarding use of showers and sauna after swimming.
  • Do not leave the site, or attempt to drive before you are fully recovered and rewarmed.

Certain groups are at higher risk- including those taking any medication and/or with; high blood pressure, high Cholesterol, BMI over 30, family history of heart disease or stroke, asthma  significant stress, sleep apnoea, viral infection. People with these risk factors need to take these into consideration when swimming and factor them in to the time spent in the water and should consult your doctor to discuss cold water swimming.

Booking/Payment Terms

Payment must be made to confirm your booking. This is done online or through the purchase of a block of 10 or 20 swims. Once booked, you can change your booked session for an alternative session up to 24 hours before your booked session. Refunds are not available and bookings cannot be changed within 12 hours of your booked swim time by clicking on the link in your email confirmation. If you have a block of swims and do not arrive to your booked session (and do not change it more than 12 hours prior) this will still be charged as a swim from your block of swims. Pre-paid block booking links are to be used by those who hold credit only- if shared and used by someone who does not have pre-paid swims the booking will not be valid, as bookings are only confirmed when payment has been made. Pre-Paid blocks of swims are only to be used by the purchaser and cannot be shared or transferred.

By booking I agree I have read and understood all of the above terms and conditions, and will follow all of the above rules and practices. I will sign in and out of the site, and in doing so agree to the above, and that my personal conditions have not changed since signing this original form.