RNLI lifeguards step up patrols across Wales
RNLI lifeguards will begin their full-time summer safety service this weekend at a number of key locations across Wales.
From Saturday (26 May) lifeguards will be providing daily safety patrols on some of the country’s most popular stretches of shoreline, from Rhyl and Prestatyn in the north to Tenby and Port Eynon in the south.
Vinny Vincent, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Ceredigion, is expecting another busy season across Wales.
He said: “Wales boasts some beautiful beaches, and we would always encourage anyone planning a trip to the seaside to visit a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.”
RNLI lifeguards will patrol 38 beaches across Wales in 2018, on duty between 10am and 6pm, until the end of the season in September.
Lifeguards responded to 1,075 incidents in Wales last year and rescued or assisted 1,219 people.
The RNLI this week launched its Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign, with advice for anyone who finds themselves unexpectedly in cold water. Most people who die around the UK coast never expected to enter the water at all and the RNLI is urging anyone who falls into cold water to fight their instincts and remember one simple skill – floating – which could save lives from drowning.
Vinny said: “We often rely on our instincts but our instinctive response to sudden immersion in cold water – gasping, thrashing and swimming hard – is potentially a killer. It increases the chances of water entering your lungs, increases the strain on your heart, cools the skin further and lets air escape from any clothing, which then reduces buoyancy.
“Although it’s counter-intuitive, the best immediate course of action in that situation is to fight your instinct and try to float or rest, just for a short time. The effects of cold water shock will pass quite quickly, within 60–90 seconds. Floating for this short time will let you regain control of your breathing and your survival chances will greatly increase.
“It’s our goal to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.”
For more information and advice on all aspects of beach and coastal safety visit the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign website at https://rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water
Notes to editors:
The attached picture shows an RNLI lifeguard in action. Credit RNLI.
Interviews with RNLI Lifeguard staff are available on request.
RNLI media contacts:
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Jon Keighren, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07776 009999 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call the 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 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.