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Free water safety skills sessions for children in Yorkshire

Lifeguards News Release

Children aged 7–14 will be able to learn vital water safety skills for free, as Swim England and the RNLI’s Swim Safe programme returns this August.

Nathan Williams

Swim Safe Class

The fun, hour-long sessions teach young people how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.

Swim England and the RNLI are running Swim Safe sessions in Scarborough and Bridlington. Booking is essential. To book your child’s free place, go to swimsafe.org.uk/locations

The funds to run the free programme, were raised as part of the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund. Andrew was a well-loved local man who sadly died after going into the water to rescue his dog, despite efforts by Scarborough RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to rescue him.

Children must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part. The sessions begin with children receiving water safety advice on land, before heading into the water for practical tuition with qualified instructors.

Children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel, as all the kit to take part, including wetsuits, swim hats and flotation equipment, is provided. They will also get some free Swim Safe goodies to take home!

Helen Peterson, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, says:

‘Children love swimming outdoors, but it’s very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim. It’s essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.

We want all children to grow up learning these vital life skills. Our partnership with the RNLI and Swim England has enabled us to run these sessions for school children in our borough for free. They are also a chance for parents and carers to get advice on helping their children stay safe around open water.’

Swim safe dates and locations are as follows:

  • Scarborough: North Bay, Beach Management Centre, 5-9 and 19-23 August

  • Bridlington: South Beach, Princess Mary Promenade, 12-16 August

    Swim England and the RNLI created Swim Safe in 2013 with a single activity at Bude in Cornwall. Having grown year on year, in 2019 Swim Safe will be running at 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The programme aims to support the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50% by 2026. For more information about Swim Safe, visit swimsafe.org.uk

Media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Mike Carhart-Harris, Public Relations Manager (Campaigns), RNLI, on 01202 663168 / m_carhart-harris@rnli.org.uk

Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer, RNLI, on 07824 518641 / Clare_Hopps@rnli.org.uk

Notes to Editors

About Swim Safe

Swim Safe was created by Swim England and the RNLI in 2013 to help children aged 7–14 stay safe while enjoying swimming outdoors.

From with a single scheme in Cornwall, Swim Safe has grown into a national programme spanning the UK. More than 20,000 children took part in a Swim Safe session across 29 locations in 2018.

This summer, Swim Safe is coming to 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It is being delivered in partnership with Swim Wales and a range of local delivery partners.

Find out more at swimsafe.org.uk

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information, visit swimming.org/swimengland

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 or by email.