FREE water safety sessions are being held for children in Tendring this summer.

Swim England and the RNLI are running the sessions for youngsters aged seven to 14, teaching vital water safety skills in Walton, Clacton, Dovercourt and Lowestoft in Suffolk.

The fun, hour-long sessions teach young people how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.

The sessions begin with children receiving water safety advice on land, before heading into the water for practical tuition with qualified instructors.

Having originally started in Harwich, these special free classes were expanded across Tendring following the tragic death of teenager Ben Quartermaine last summer.

The 15-year-old drowned after getting into difficulty while he was swimming near Clacton Pier..

His body was found on the beach on July 28, almost two days after he went missing.

A campaign was launched following Ben's death calling for free swimming lessons for every school child in the district and to teach them how to deal with a rip tide or strong current.

Swim Safe sessions were then held in Clacton and Walton for the first time, which will return this July and August.

Felicity Bramford, Swim Safe area coordinator Midlands and East, said: "Children love swimming outdoors, but it’s very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim.

"It’s essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.

"We want all children to grow up learning these vital life skills.

"The session also offer a chance for parents and carers to get advice on helping their children stay safe around open water."

Booking is essential and opens six weeks prior to each session, which will be from July 20 to August 3 and August 13 to 17 in Dovercourt, July 22 to 26 in Clacton at Martello Bay, and August 27 to 31 in Walton.

Children must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part.

Children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel, as all the kit to take part, including wetsuits, swim hats and flotation equipment, is provided.

To book go to