Head to a lifeguarded beach this Easter bank holiday
With sun and warm temperatures predicted over the next few days, many people are likely to head to the coast to enjoy the Easter bank holiday. Although the air temperature may be warm, the waters around our coasts will still be very cold.
The RNLI is urging people to stay safe and to head to a lifeguarded beach.
Although it is early in the year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling a variety of beaches around the UK and will be on hand to offer safety advice.
The charity is encouraging anyone visiting the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach and to swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards. Lifeguarded beaches provide much greater safety for general beach users, swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
In warm weather, a dip in the sea can seem very inviting, but our waters are still very cold at this time of year. Sudden immersion in cold water puts people at risk of suffering cold water shock, which triggers the instinctive but life-threatening reaction to gasp uncontrollably and swim hard, which can quickly lead to drowning.
Brian Robson, Community Safety Manager for the RNLI, says:
‘While we are all looking forward to some spring-like weather, we’d like to remind people that the conditions around the coast can change quickly and still be challenging, and should you go in the water intentionally or unintentionally, the sea is extremely cold at this time of year, making cold water shock a real danger. If you find yourself suffering from the effects of cold water shock, fight your instincts to thrash about or try to swim – instead, relax and float on your back until the effects have passed and you can swim to safety.
‘We want people to enjoy the coastline and therefore urge people to respect the water and take extra care when visiting the coast, by taking some basic precautions. Plan your activity – check the weather and tide conditions before going to sea, 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 for your chosen activity. To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit rnli.org/safety.’
The RNLI is also advising people to enjoy the sun safely by making sure they apply sunscreen generously, with at least a factor 15, spend time in the shade when the sun is at its strongest between 11am-3pm and by wearing protective kit such as a shirt, sunglasses or a cap.
To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, please visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches
Notes to editors
· Senior Community Safety Manager Brian Robson is available for interview over the Easter Bank holiday. For any media enquiries please contact the duty press officer on 01202 336789
· RNLI Lifeguards are on the following beaches during the Easter Bank Holiday: Boscombe East, Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West, Sandbanks, Fistral, Porth Meor, Sennen, Croyde, Crosby, Le Braye, Camber Central, Bantham, Praa Sands, Towan, Moreton, Watergate Bay, Mawgan, Porth, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Gwithian, Hayle Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Summerleaze, Woolacombe, West Kirby, Harrison Drive, Southport, Tenby, New Brighton, Formby, Ainsdale, Corney, The Plateaux, Trecco Bay, Whitmore Bay (Barry), Aberavon, Three Cliffs, Whitesands, Benone Strand, Portrush East, Portrush West, Portrush West Harbour, White Rocks, Portstewart Strand.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact 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.