Open Water Swimming

Open Water or Wild swimming is essentially swimming outdoors in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes or the sea.

This activity has seen a surge in popularity in recent years with more and more people taking to the water on a regular basis, throughout the seasons.

Fowey is a busy harbour with both commercial and leisure vessels transiting the harbour at all times of day and night. Swimming in Fowey Harbour is governed by safety restrictions which prohibit swimming in the Harbour outside of designated areas.

We also recommend that swimmers take personal responsibility for their safety by having their own tow floats to make them visible, these also provide extra buoyancy if needed. For more safety advice visit the RNLI website

Swimming in Fowey Harbour

Swimming in Fowey Harbour is controlled under The Fowey (Swimming) General Direction 2024 which prohibits swimming in the lower harbour except within designated swimming zones.

Download The Fowey (Swimming) General Direction 2024

View the Swimming Zone maps

Water Quality Information

View the Surfers Against Sewage interactive map and download the Safer Seas App for the latest water quality alerts in your area.

Check South West Water’s Water Fit Live service for information on storm overflows

Readymoney is a designated Bathing Water and water quality is tested through the bathing season (May to September), the beach is given an annual classification according to these results. View Bathing Water Profile for Readymoney

Water Quality advisory signage is displayed at Readymoney when the Environment Agency forecast a risk of pollution or if there has been a pollution event.

Report pollution to a watercourse to the Environment Agency Incident Hotline Telelphone: 0800 80 70 60

Photo credit: Amy Hill

Swimming Safely

Going for a swim in cold, open water can be exhilarating, but it’s not without risk. Here’s some advice to follow to make sure you have a safe swim:

Check the weather, tides and sea conditions before going out and know your limits

Check for Water Quality Alerts – download the Surfers Against Sewage Safer Seas App or visit their website

Choose your spot – only swim in designated swimming areas. Swimming is prohibited in Fowey Harbour outside of these areas on safety grounds due to the amount of boat traffic.

Go with a buddy – open water swimming is much more fun with someone else, and you can look out for each other

Have the right equipment – be seen, wear a bright coloured swim hat and have a tow float for extra buoyancy. Carry a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and a whistle to attract attention.

Make sure you acclimatise to avoid cold water shock.

Stay within your depth and Float to Live

Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in an emergency
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