Lifeboat crews urge public to take advantage of free Swim Safe sessions

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat crews and lifeguards are urging beach users to take advantage of free Swim Safe sessions after a child was blown out to sea.

RNLI lifeboat crews from Kinghorn and North Berwick, Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick have been tasked four times in the past eight days to inflatables being blown offshore, one of which had a young child onboard. The inflatables have blown off beaches at Longniddry, Kirkcaldy, and twice from Portobello. RNLI lifeguards at Leven beach have also rescued a boy who drifted out to sea on his paddle board.

During the recent good weather the RNLI has been encouraging people to look out for their own safety whilst enjoying the water. People of all ages can stay safe whilst at the beach by following advice like keeping inflatables for the swimming pool or tethering them to the shore.

Free outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for 7­–­­­14-year-olds are open for bookings in Aberdour this summer.

Swim Safe helps children learn how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they get into trouble. The national programme is run by Swim England and the RNLI, supported by Scottish Swimming.

The 60-minute sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards and supported by a team of volunteers.

Following popular sessions in June, more free Swim Safe sessions are being held at Silver Sands Beach in Aberdour between 29 July and 13 August. Parents and carers can book their child’s free place now at swimsafe.org.uk.

Children aged 7­–­­­14 who can swim at least 25 metres can take part. Wetsuits and swim hats will be provided for the session and all young people will get a free goody bag and T-shirt.

Martin McQueenie, Swim Safe coordinator for Scotland, says: ‘Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn.

‘Swim Safe is a free, fun activity that teaches kids lifelong skills that will help them enjoy open water safely.

‘Parents and carers are welcome to stay during the session to find out more about making sure their children are safe at the beach and by the water.

‘Places are free to book at swimsafe.org.uk and children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel.’

Swim England and the RNLI launched Swim Safe in 2013 at a single venue in Cornwall. Now in its sixth year, Swim Safe has grown to include 29 locations across the UK hosting sessions for the public and local schools.

The sessions are delivered by local partners, including community groups, leisure providers, local councils and, as in the case of Aberdour, the local RNLI lifeguard team.

ENDS

Media contacts

For more information, please contact:

RNLI (regional): Henry Weaver, Regional Media Manager, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

RNLI (national): Mike Carhart-Harris, Public Relations Manager (Campaigns), on 01202 663168 / m_carhart-harris@rnli.org.uk

Swim England: Alison Clowes, Head of Media and Public Affairs, on 07919 548039 / alison.clowes@swimming.org

Notes to Editors

Pictures

RNLI Swim Safe – credit RNLI/Kinghorn

RNLI Swim Safe session – credit RNLI

RNLI Swim Safe session 2 – credit RNLI

About Swim Safe

Swim Safe was created by Swim England and the RNLI in 2013 to help children aged 7–14 stay safe while enjoying swimming outdoors.

From with a single scheme in Cornwall, Swim Safe has grown into a national programme spanning the UK. More than 13,000 children took part in a Swim Safe session at 20 locations in 2017.

This summer, Swim Safe is coming to 29 venues across England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales, alongside a range of local delivery partners.

Swim Safe’s goal is for all children in the UK and Ireland to grow up with the skills to stay safe in and around the open water. Find out more at swimsafe.org.uk

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
Inflatable flamingo picked up by Kinghorn lifeboat

RNLI/Kinghorn

Inflatable flamingo picked up by Kinghorn lifeboat
RNLI Swim Safe

RNLI

RNLI Swim Safe

RNLI/Henry Weaver

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.