RNLI urges beach visitors to stay safe this August Bank Holiday

Lifeguards News Release

With sunny and warm weather predicted this weekend, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are reminding people to stay safe and listen to advice from the charity’s lifesavers, when in and around the water.

With beaches expected to be busy, the charity that saves lives at sea, are asking people visiting the coast to plan their trip and head to a lifeguarded beach for an enjoyable and safe time.

Throughout the summer, lifeguards have carried out rescues involving people caught in rip currents, cut off by the tide and stranded on inflatables plus many other issues.

Following several serious incidents on UK beaches this summer, the RNLI are reminding everyone to check tidal times, choose a lifeguarded beach and avoid using inflatables in the sea. This is especially important for those less familiar with the beach environment so make sure you read local signage and follow any advice given.

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said:

‘Sea conditions can vary hugely throughout the day so don’t overestimate your own abilities. The tides often come in out and very quickly and rip currents can develop rapidly.

‘RNLI lifeguards are there to offer advice so if you are unsure about anything, make sure you ask a lifeguard. They will be able to provide information on tide times and guide you to the safest area to swim which will be between the red and yellow flags.

‘If you ever fall into the water unexpectedly or begin to struggle, our advice is to Float to Live. The natural reaction is to thrash around and attempt to swim but this can increase the chances of you breathing in water. Your safest option is to FLOAT on your back to keep your airway clear and get your breathing under control. This will allow you to call for help or plan your next move to safety.’

If you do see someone in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water to try and save them as you will put yourself at risk. If possible, try to find something that floats and throw it towards them or tell them to FLOAT on their back until help arrives.

RNLI lifeguards provide cover on over 240 beaches in the UK and Channel Islands and are solely funded by public donations. They are highly skilled with world class training and equipment, so they are ready to help prevent incidents and to respond if people get into difficulty in the water.

Notes to Editors

  • Steve Instance, Community Safety Partner, is available for interview, upon request.

Media contacts

For more information please contact the RNLI’s Press Office on 01202 336789 or pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

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For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

Lifeguard monitors the beach from lifeguard hut in using binoculars.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguard monitoring the beach.
Lifeguards taking part in training exercise using rescue watercrafts.

RNLI/Adrian Don

Five RNLI lifeguards in training exercise aboard rescue watercrafts
Lifeguard on the shoreline and monitoring the sea, holding a yellow rescue tube. Bright sunny day.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguard monitors the sea from the shoreline.
Photo of the back of lifeguard on the shoreline and monitoring the sea holding a yellow rescue tube.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI Lifeguard facing out to sea.

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.

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.