RNLI in Wales urges people to respect the water this Easter
As the school holidays approach, the RNLI in Wales 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’s lifeguards return to seven of the region’s beaches on Good Friday (30 March).
In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across Wales dealt with 1,079 incidents while the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews from Flint in north Wales to Penarth in south Wales launched 1,082 times, offering assistance to 1,169 people.
Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner for the Wales and the west, says:
‘RNLI lifesavers across Wales are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and last year, together assisted 2,348 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.
‘If you’re planning to get in the water, take advantage of the RNLI lifeguard service this Easter. The team of lifeguards will be able to advise and keep you safe. If you are feeling brave enough for a swim we’d recommend wearing a wetsuit at this time of year to stay warmer, and always swim or body board between the red and yellow flags where the lifeguards are watching.’
Lifeguards will be back on patrol from 30 March – 2 April at Tenby South, Coney/Sandy Bay and Trecco Bay in Porthcawl. There will also be a lifeguard service at Whitmore Bay in Barry and at Aberavon. There will be an extended service from 30 March until 15 April at Three Cliffs in Swansea and Whitesands in Pembrokeshire.
To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.comNotes to editors
A video compilation of RNLI rescues in Wales and the West is available. Included in the compilation are rescues from Tenby, Porthcawl, Beaumaris, Aberystwyth, New Quay, Rhyl (including lifeguards), Flint, Porthcawl, Moelfre.
RNLI media contacts
For more information contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07786 668829 or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
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.