Swim Safe brings water safety to life in Scarborough

Lifeboats News Release

Swim Safe, the FREE programme of outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children is taking place at Scarborough’s South Bay from today (15 August) until Friday 19 August.

Although this is the first year in which Swim Safe has taken place in the town, since it began in 2013 the project has taught over 11,600 children across the UK how to enjoy swimming outdoors safely.

The funds to run the programme, which is completely free to children aged between seven and fourteen, were raised as part of the Andrew McGeown Legacy fund. Andrew was a well-loved local man who sadly died after going into the water to rescue his dog, despite efforts by Scarborough RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to rescue him.

Practical, interactive, educational and fun, each Swim Safe session includes a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard, followed by in-water tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with T-shirt are all provided.

Delivered in partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) and the RNLI charity (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Swim Safe is perfect for families living nearby or visiting Scarborough this summer holiday.

Gareth Oxley, Swim Safe Coordinator at Scarborough, says: ‘There are all sorts of environmental factors to consider when you’re swimming outdoors, and it’s important children know how to call for help if they get into trouble.

‘We’re really excited that Swim Safe has come to Scarborough this year. We’ve got enough spaces for 500 young people to come and learn some really important life skills, and it’s completely free.’

Donna Loveland, Andrew McGeown's sister, says: ‘We’re really proud to have raised the funds needed to run Swim Safe in Scarborough in Andrew’s memory.

‘Though we miss him every day,  I’m sure Andrew would be pleased to know that because of him hundreds of young people will grow up with a better understanding of how to stay safe by the sea.’

Parents can book their children onto a Swim Safe session now at https://swimsafe.org.uk or simply come along on the day.

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North at clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk  or call 07824 518641.

RNLI Picture caption
The photograph shows a Swim Safe session in action. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.

About Swim Safe
Swim Safe began in 2013 and ran for 5 weeks in Bude, Cornwall, teaching local children and those holidaying in the area how to be safe in and around the sea. By 2015 the programme had expanded to Bude, Bournemouth, Sandhaven, the Lake District, the Isle of Man, Plymouth and Jersey and included the introduction of Swim Safe For Schools. This year the programme will be delivered in over 13 locations with thousands of places available. For more information visit https://swimsafe.org.uk.

About the ASA
The ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) is the English national governing body for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. It organises competitions throughout England, establishes the laws of the sport, and operates a comprehensive certification and education programmes for teachers, coaches and officials.

There are over 1,000 affiliated swimming clubs which are supported by the ASA through a national, regional and county structure. Millions of children have been taught to swim through the ASA’s learn to swim programmes. The ASA also develops programmes and initiatives to increase the number of people swimming more often.  For more information visit: www.swimming.org/asa


Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.