Charity urges people to stay safe during UK heatwave

Lifeguards News Release

Following a number of serious incidents, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is again urging people to stay safe and listen to advice from the charity’s lifesavers when in and around the water.

RNLI Lifeguard

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI Lifeguard

In just the last 24 hours crews from Teddington RNLI have been working with the Met Police and other emergency services to try and locate two missing swimmers in the Thames, whilst sadly in Gloucestershire a body has been found after a swimmer disappeared in a lake.

The sunny weather is a great excuse to visit our coastlines and enjoy time with friends and family but it is vital people are aware of the dangers the water can present.

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards are ready to respond to incidents around the coast 24/7, but sometimes this is too late and sadly not everyone can be saved. The charity is offering important advice and simple tips that everyone can follow to ensure they keep themselves and loved ones safe whilst having fun.

Brian Robson, RNLI Senior Community Safety Manager said:

‘We want everyone to stay safe and enjoy their summer by the water. If visiting the coastline, consider visiting a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. The lifeguards are on hand to offer advice and can respond quickly if needed.’

He added:

‘If an incident occurs and you find yourself in trouble in the water remember this simple advice: fight your instinct to swim hard and thrash about, which can lead to breathing in water and drowning. Instead FLOAT on your back until you have regained control of your breathing.

‘If you do see someone in trouble in the water at the coast, fight your instinct to go in and try to rescue them yourself, instead call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Inspector Stuart Simpson, spokesperson for the Met Police added, ‘We continue to work closely with our partners at the RNLI and other emergency services to prevent anyone dying in open water. Every death is extremely upsetting, especially deaths that can be avoided. We remain absolutely committed to reducing the number of deaths on the River Thames, as well as across London.’

For further safety advice and information on how you can help the RNLI save more lives visit

Notes to editors

· Interviews available on request

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.

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.