Competitions, I hear you ask, can there actually be lifesaving competitions. Well yes, we compete as do most other British Universities in student competitions, most city clubs also compete in regional as well as national competitions, and if you are really good then there are even Internationals and World Championships. So what does a lifesaving competition involve? Do we throw people who can't swim into a pool and see how many we can save from drowning? Well not quite. If you really don't understand, you might like to take a look at some rules
More briefly, a competition consists of four seperate parts, two races and two set incidents. There is a dry first aid incident usually involving around three casualties and some bystanders in which two team members compete. A wet incident held in the pool involving any number of swimmers and dummies in which the other two team members take part. The two pairs then join together for the relay races, one involves simulated rope throwing and the other a simulated towing rescue. The object of the races, unlike the incidents, is to complete them as fast as possible and not in the 'best' way. A winning team is then found by adding together placings from each section, with the incidents counting for more than the races. So now you know...
Open Water competitions are simillar to indoor ones, except that sometimes only a wet incident is run in a river or lake with two person teams.
See uni-lifesaving.org.uk for more details on University level competition lifesaving.