While those of us currently living in the UK shiver through wintery weather that swiftly arrived as the calendar ticked over to December, the southern hemisphere is enjoying the beginning of summer and all the outdoor fun that entails.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

However every summer, water-loving countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa struggle to prevent drownings at their beautiful beaches – and the majority are foreigners, either tourists or foreign-born residents.

Although the reasons for this are not completely understood, it is believed that people visiting or emigrating from other countries may be unfamiliar with ocean swimming and risks it entails. There can be rips and ocean currents, varying wave heights and distinctive local features such as deep water bays and underwater hazards.

When you make the move to your new home in the southern hemisphere, or even to other beachside locations across the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or Florida, for example, ALWAYS obey the local signs and directions from lifesavers at the beach. Even if you don’t speak the local language, beaches safe for swimming will usually be patrolled by lifeguards and areas that have calmer waters will likely be marked with flags.

If you have kids, it is a good idea to enrol them in swimming lessons before you move to your new home overseas. That way, they can enjoy the water straight away and not be tempted to paddle in the waves without the ability to swim if they get in above their head.

A new life by the sea is a great lifestyle choice – but it is a matter of life and death to be prepared and follow local instructions!

For more information about moving abroad, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s free ‘Emigration Guide’.

The views and comments herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Rightmove Overseas, Rightmove Group Ltd or Rightmove Plc