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Children 'Swim Safe' with free outdoor swimming safety sessions in Tyne and Wear

Lifeboats News Release

Swim Safe, a national programme offering free outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children aged 7–14, will be returning to Sandhaven beach this summer. The initiative will also be running for the first time at Longsands beach.

RNLI/Adrian Don

A Swim Safe session taking place at Sandhaven beach in 2016

The programme will take place at Longsands from 2 to 12 August and at Sandhaven from 16 to 26 August.

Swim Safe teaches children aged 7–14 how to stay safe when swimming outdoors, which is often more challenging than swimming in a pool. The programme was created jointly by Swim England, the national governing body for swimming in England, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity that saves lives at sea.

The hour-long Swim Safe sessions are run by qualified swimming teachers and qualified lifeguards, supported by a team of trained volunteers. The first 20 minutes covers land-based safety and then it is into the water for practical tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with a tee-shirt are all provided. Children must be able to swim at least 25 metres to take part.

To book a free Swim Session, visit swimsafe.org.uk then share your experience using #SwimSafe and at Facebook.com/SwimSafeOutdoors

Gareth Oxley, Swim Safe Co-ordinator, for Longsands and Sandhaven said: ‘Children love swimming outdoors – but swimming in the sea, rivers and lakes is more challenging than swimming in a pool where most lessons take place. Swim Safe helps children learn to keep safe when swimming outdoors, so they know what do if they get into trouble. And because Swim Safe sessions are free and fun, they are a great activity for children aged 7–14 who live or are holidaying in Tyne and Wear.’

Since Swim Safe started in 2013 (with just one site in Bude, Cornwall), over 18,000 sessions have taken place across the UK. Now in its fifth year, the programme continues to grow and in 2017, Swim Safe sessions will take place at over 20 sites across the UK including beaches, lakes, reservoirs and other inland locations.

RNLI Picture caption

The photograph shows a Swim Safe session taking place at Sandhaven beach last year. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.

Media contacts

For more information please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer North on: 07824 518641, or at: clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk For out of hours enquiries, please contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Notes to Editors

About Swim Safe

Swim Safe was created jointly by Swim England and the RNLI to help children aged 7–14 stay safe when enjoying swimming outdoors. It was launched in 2013 in Bude and is now delivered to the public and schools at over 20 locations across the UK.

This year Swim Safe is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales. It is also being supported nationally by the Swimming Trust, and the Swim Safe schools programme is being supported by Norton by Symantec.

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information visit swimming.org/swimengland

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland