RNLI in Scotland urges people to respect the water this Easter

Lifeboats News Release

As the school holidays approach, the RNLI in Scotland is calling on people visiting the coast this Easter to respect the water and remember sea temperatures are still very cold. The call comes as the charity releases its annual statistics from 2017.

In 2017, RNLI crews across Scotland launched 1159 times and RNLI Lifeguards assisted in 207 incidents.

Michael Avril, RNLI Community Safety Partner for Scotland, says:

‘RNLI lifesavers across Scotland are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and last year, together assisted 1219 people.

‘Despite their commitment, tragically in the UK and Ireland at least one person dies from drowning each day. We believe that one drowning is one too many and we would encourage people to think ahead and to take the necessary precautions to keep them and their family safe at the coast.’

Around half of those who die at the coast find themselves in the water unexpectedly, often as a result of slips, trips or falls, meaning they weren’t properly prepared to get wet. To prevent this happening, it is crucial people plan their activity, but also think about what they’d do in an emergency should something unexpected happen.

Check the weather and tide conditions and make sure your equipment is all in working order. Carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong; know your capabilities and make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment.

If you see someone in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 (or 112) and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water yourself.

To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.com

Notes to editors:

Scotland has 46 lifeboat stations and 7 lifeguarded beaches.

Scotland’s RNLI lifeguards will be on duty on the following beaches/dates:

Aberdour Silver Sands - 26th May – 30th September

Burntisland, Leven, St Andrews East Sands, St Andrews West Sands and Elie Harbour - 23rd June – 27th August

Coldingham Bay – 26th May – 2nd September

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

An RNLI Shannon class lifeboat powers through spray

RNLI/Nigel Millard

An RNLI Shannon class lifeboat powers through spray
Volunteers and their families outside Anstruther lifeboat station

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Volunteers and their families outside Anstruther lifeboat station
An RNLI lifeguard offers safety advice to a family on a beach

RNLI/Nathan Williams

An RNLI lifeguard offers safety advice to a family on a beach

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.