RNLI reminds those visiting the South West coastline to heed safety advice

Lifeguards News Release

With the hot, settled weather set to continue into the start of next week, the RNLI is urging people to take extra care if they are heading to the coast.


RNLI lifeguard monitors the beach at Perranporth

The charity advises those planning on going into the water to head to a lifeguarded beach as they provide much greater safety for general beach users, swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. RNLI lifeguards have a wealth of knowledge about the beaches that they patrol and can give you advice about local hazards and tide times.

With the beaches getting busier, it is important to remember the RNLI’s safety guidance for a range of coastal activities. Swimmers and bodyboarders should stay between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards. If you bring an inflatable to the beach, do not use it if the orange windsock is flying or when the wind is blowing offshore as these conditions could drag the inflatable out to sea. If you plan on using a sea kayak or stand up paddleboard, make sure that you carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach.

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Manager for the south west, said:

‘It has been an extremely busy few weeks for our emergency services including RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards, with a number of incidents around our coast, some of which have tragically ended in a death of someone’s loved one.

Each death is one too many and our hearts go out to those who have been touched by these tragedies.

With schools starting breaking up for the summer, and people heading to the coast to enjoy this spell of settled weather, we’d urge everyone planning a day out to the beach or on the water to take note of this vital safety advise.

While the water temperatures are heating up, it is still cold compared to the air. Entering the water unexpectedly or very quickly can lead to cold water shock.

The natural reaction to this can be to panic and thrash around, which increases the chances of breathing in water and drowning. In order to stay safe, the RNLI advises people to remember the Float to Live message’.

The following five steps to float could save your life if you find yourself in difficulty in the water:

  1. Fight your instinct to thrash around
  2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs
  3. If you need to, gently move your arms and legs to help you float
  4. Float until you can control your breathing
  5. Only then, call for help or swim to safety

If you see someone in difficulty, don’t enter the water yourself as you could end up in trouble. Dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

Notes to editors

  • Please find attached a picture of an RNLI lifeguard monitoring the beach at Perranporth with a rescue board

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For more information please contact Marianne Quinn, RNLI Media Engagement Placement at Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818 807 amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk.

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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 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.

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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.