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From the very beginning, the goal of the «Aare You Safe?» campaign has been to raise the swimmers' awareness. The «Aare You Safe?» campaign was launched by the City of Bern following an incident at the Schönausteg in 2013. The campaign ran for three years. In summer the Piranha-, Octopus- and Jellyfish motifs used in the campaign almost became new heraldic animals for the City of Bern. The campaign was sorely missed in summer 2016, so the City Council commissioned the municipal administration to come up with a new multi-year campaign. The new campaign started under the claim «Aare You Safe? - It's not a game» in 2017 and will be running through 2020.

Image caption:

From 2017 to 2020 the motto «It‘s not a game» will be used to draw attention in a fun way to the dangers that lurk in and on the river Aare. Various measures are planned as part of the campaign. One of them is the poster «Aare You Safe?» 2017 and the videospot.

The goal of the «Aare You Safe?» campaign has always been to raise the swimmers' awareness. Other target groups such as rubber boat users are now to be addressed, too, as part of the new campaign. In an unconventional way, the campaign aims to draw their attention to the fact that they have a responsibility when out on the water and that they need to look out – for themselves and others. After all, swimming trips are meant to be fun – and no-one wants to see them suddenly take a turn for the worse. The campaign slogan will continue to be prominently shown on the path along the river, reminding Aare enthusiasts on site that they need to act cautiously and responsibly.

Videospot «Aare You Safe»


The campaign is carried out in collaboration with proven partners.

Swiss Lifesaving Society (SLRG)

The «Swiss Lifeguard Association» (SLRG) is the largest organisation of its kind in Switzerland when it comes to all matters relating to safety in, on, and by the water. The purpose of the non-profit organisation, which has been awarded the ZEWO Foundation seal of approval, is to prevent accidents on the water and provide rescue operations if and when such accidents do occur. It also trains lifeguards. So it was only natural that the Bern Section of the «SLRG» should play an active role in the «Aare You Safe?» campaign.  

Bern Cantonal Police  Water Police

The «Water Police Department» of the Bern Cantonal Police is responsible for safety and rescue operations on all Bernese waterways and water courses. Within the Bern metropolitan area it carries out these duties in close co-operation with the Ambulance Service of Bern. As it is impossible to guarantee complete, seamless surveillance, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that people act responsibly and assume personal responsibility.


As the Swiss Competence and Coordination Centre for Accident Prevention the BFU is committed to safety by public appointment. The BFU conducts research in the sectors of road traffic, sports, home and leisure and passes on its knowledge to private individuals and specialist circles by means of advisory services, training and communications. Together with its campaign partners BFU is committed to increase safety in water sports and thus supports «Aare You Safe?».

Bern Welcome

The river Aare plays an important part in marketing tourism in the City of Bern and the region as a whole. In fact, «Bern Tourism» promotes swimming in the river Aare, for example urban swimming, as a one-of-a-kind experience. But «Bern Welcome» is also keen to point out that swimming in the Aare is for experienced swimmers only.

Prevention is a key issue for «Bern Welcome», which is why the tourism association has backed the «Aare You Safe?» campaign from the very outset. In addition to the information on the website itself, there is also lots of information available about swimming in the Aare on its tourist information pages. «Bern Welcome» also stocks a range of Bern-based products about swimming in the city’s main river.

Bern Municipal Administration

The campaign is the responsibility of the City’s «Department for Safety, Environment and Energy». The «General Secretariat» is where it all comes together, with the PR, online presence, campaign measures and finances planned and co-ordinated in close co-operation with the «Information Services».

The «Sport Department» is actually at the focal point of the campaign and the most heavily involved, given the City’s many lidos and bathing facilities under its supervision. In co-operation with the Competence Centre for Integration, so-called «lido supporters» were launched in summer 2016. Men and women from the various asylum-seeker accommodation facilities in the City of Bern were trained in water safety to draw the attention of their fellow countrymen and -women to the customs and safety-related behaviour in, on and by the water – particularly the fast-flowing waters of the Aare River.

«Logistik Bern» is in charge of producing the printed matter and handling the swim-bag orders. The remaining stock of swim bags from 2013‐2015 is to be sold off this year. The new swim bags and other fun gadgets are to go on sale in 2018, reflecting the new motifs.

Partner towns

ThunMünsingen and Muri bei Bern have agreed to join the campaign as partner towns and municipalities. And so, this summer, the «Aare You Safe?» campaign will be showcased in these municipalities, too, drawing the population’s attention to the hazards and dangers in, on and by the Aare River as well as the proper rules of conduct.

Further informations


Direktion für Sicherheit, Umwelt und Energie
Predigergasse 12
Phone +41 31 321 50 10