Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation

The Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (FSL) is an educational and information organisation established in the year 1956. It has 11 member associations and aims at improving the swimming skills of Finns and at reducing the number of fatal drowning accidents with the aid of education and instruction.

Our activities are financed by aid granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture and by our own fund raising activities. Our fund raising is mainly sales of accomplished swimmer badges and diplomas.

Our activity sectors are
  • swimming instruction,
  • life saving,
  • baby and family swimming,
  • special swimming,

  • aquatic training,
  • pool safety, and
  • technical guidance and instruction for planning, building and maintaining swimming halls, spas and beaches.

FSL also also a visible role in the "Safely In Water" campaign. The campaign is carried out together with Finnish national authorities, and its aim is to rise and maintain discussion on water safety and promote safety when being in or by water. The campaign reminds people that most risky situations and the danger of drowning can very easily be prevented. At the moment the slogan of the campaign is "Do not leave your brain behind". The campaign reminds people of three main themes:

  • Swimming ability saves your life,

  • Always wear a life jacket when you are in water,
  • Do not consume alcohol when you are in water.

The actual campaign tours that take place in summer in over 30 locations and in winter in 10 locations around Finland, are carried out by FSL. The summer tour is called “Wisely in the water” - and the winter tour “Common Sense on the Ice”. During these tours the audience is shown practical examples of how to save both oneself and how to save another person in trouble in the water or who has gone through the ice. The tour shows are always free for the audience and media.

FSL gathers monthly data on drownings and publishes the statistics on this web site (statistics are only available in Finnish and Swedish).

FSL trains life savers and swimming instructors for all the activity sectors. Training in water safety is offered to the staff of swimming halls and spas.

FSL carries a "Safe Baby and Family Swimming Places" campaign. Pools and spas filling the criteria set by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the quality of the swimming pool and family spa water, and other criteria set by FSL, can be given a "Safe Baby and Family Swimming Place" diploma that is valid for two years.

FSL is a member of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS), International Life Saving Federation of Europe (ILSE), Nordic Life Saving Federation (NLF) and International Federation of Swimming Teaching Associations (IFSTA).

For more information, please contact:
Secretary General Ms Kristiina Heinonen
tel. +358 9 343 6560
email kristiina.heinonen(a)