In response to falling recruitment numbers, the Royal Navy is removing the entry swim test, according to a report by Sky News, in a move that will likely have a significant impact on training.

The British broadcaster quoted a Navy source saying it was: "a sign of true desperation to increase recruitment numbers" that there will no longer be a standard 30-minute swim test prior to being recruited. 

However, a Royal Navy spokesperson played down fears of a lowering in standards, by explaining how all recruits will still be expected to pass the swim test during training, but that the emphasis would be on the perspective candidate to take swim lessons. The adjustment, it is hoped, will make the recruitment process more accessible for those weaker swimmers, who may have been put off applying.

"All Royal Navy and Royal Marine candidates are required to successfully pass the swim test to be able to pass out of Phase 1 training and the level of swimming ability required has not changed," the spokesperson said.

However, the source said: "Recruits who can't swim will need additional training and therefore their 'working days' in training will be longer. Surely avoiding this by learning to swim before joining is the best for everyone - including the taxpayer?"

While this approach may boost recruitment numbers, it could also pose logistical challenges for the Navy. Additional resources may be required to accommodate the increased demand for swimming instructors and facilities.