RNLI lifeguards issue safety advice in response to UK weather warnings

Lifeguards News Release

The Met Office has issued Yellow weather warnings for the majority of the UK, as this weekend promises erratic weather, creating large waves and strong currents.

RNLI/Matthew Whitley

Red flagged beach Croyde in north Devon
Weather forecasts predict that by Friday afternoon, the majority of the UK will be affected by strong winds, thunder and rain. The bad weather is set to continue on Saturday, which will create challenging conditions around the coastline with associated tidal surges, large surf and strong rip currents.

Lifeguard Supervisor for South Pembrokeshire Adam Pitman, said, ‘We recommend that members of the public take extra care when visiting the beach, as we are expecting some bad weather, and therefore unpredictable sea conditions. If you do go out to sea at all, make sure that you carry a means of calling for help, and if you see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

RNLI lifeguards strongly encourage members of the public to take extra care on the coast this weekend. If you’re going to the beach, make sure you visit a lifeguarded one, and only swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by lifeguards. RNLI lifeguards assess the weather and sea conditions throughout the day and change the flags on the beach accordingly.

If you see a red flag at a lifeguarded beach, do not enter the water, as it is unsafe for any water activities. You might see an orange windsock at an RNLI lifeguarded beach this weekend, which signals that there are offshore or strong winds and inflatables should not be used. For a detailed breakdown of all the different flags you might find at the beach, visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for the Wirral Ryan Jennings, said, ‘Make sure that you always pay attention to what flags and signs you can see on the beach, as they will tell you what the dangers are and if it’s safe to enter the water. If you’re ever unsure of anything, always ask a lifeguard for advice, as they are there to prevent as many incidents as possible.’

Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Dawlish Henry Irvine, said, ‘When we experience severe weather such as this, especially during the summer when the region is busy with visitors, it is really important people take heed of our advice to keep themselves safe. If people want to go to the beach please choose one patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.’

RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands each summer, you can find your nearest here: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

RNLI Media Contacts:

RNLI Press Office at pressoffice@rnli.org.uk or on 01202 336789

Notes for editors:

As RNLI lifeguards need to be physically on the beach during the patrolled hours, ready to respond to emergencies and prevent accidents, the RNLI can’t rely on volunteers to provide this cover seven days a week. Local authorities part fund the RNLI’s costs, which helps to meet the cost of lifeguard wages.

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.

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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.