Swimmer in difficulty raises alarm for lifeboat crew
Lifeboat volunteers were tasked from RNLI New Brighton lifeboat station to aid a man in the water behind Fort Perch Rock at 4pm on 20 April 2018
On-shore bystanders first alerted Wirral Coastguard as a Bootle man in his 40s got into difficulties when he decided to go swimming after spending some of the afternoon drinking beer.
Fortunately he quickly made his own way back to shore where Wirral Coastguard gave him safety advice. The RNLI lifeboat crew were stood down at 4.26pm.
‘We are very pleased that in this instance the swimmer made it to shore safely,’ said RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Thornton. ‘As the weather warms up, it’s natural that people want to enjoy the water and perhaps a drink or two.
‘Our advice to anyone wanting to drink is to save it until after they’ve been swimming and never to drink before entering the water. Alcohol not only impairs judgement, but reaction times and swimming ability too. We want to see everyone safe, particularly as numbers in and around water increase during summer months.’
RNLI figures show that one in every eight deaths in the UK involves alcohol and that it contributes to many more water-related accidents.
Alcohol-related drownings also occur due to slips, trips and falls near the water so when drinking near the river or sea, RNLI advice is for people to always watch out for those they are with.
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.