Planning a New Year’s Dive? Rescuers give tips to stay safe

New Year's Dive (Photo: Nationale Nieuwjaarsduik/Facebook). (New Year's Dive (Photo: Nationale Nieuwjaarsduik/Facebook))

Many a Dutch is preparing to welcome the New Year by diving into ice cold water in the traditional New Year's Dive. And while the sea water is expected to be warmer than in previous years, it is still important to stay safe and be well prepared. The Rescue Brigade released five safety tips to help courageous Dutch survive this daring tradition.

Firstly only take part in an organized dive with qualified rescuers present. If you decide to go for a "wild dive" in a remote location, there will be no one to help you if you get into trouble.

Be on time and well prepared. New Year's Dives are usually well attended by both spectators and participants, which may overcrowd the local infrastructure. Make sure you arrive early. Check out the dive site before hand to plan your entrance and exit route and make sure you know where to find help if you need it. Do a warm up and follow the organization's instructions.

Only participate in a New Year's Dive if you are completely healthy. If you feel ill or it is medically irresponsible to participate, rather be a spectator. Being sick during a dive puts both yourself and other participants in danger. If you start feeling unwell, get help from the first aid immediately.

Protect yourself from the cold. Wear a hat, you lose a lot of heat through your head. Only undress right before the dive, wear a bathrobe that you can throw off and put back on quickly. Make sure you wear slippers or shoes that are easy to remove and put back on.

Warm up well after the dive. Put your clothes in an easy to find spot, nothing is more annoying than running around looking for your clothes while you're cold and wet. Wearing a drying bathrobe will help you warm up more quickly. Find a warm environment in which to redress.