Tynemouth RNLI urges recreational water users to stay at home to save lives
Tynemouth RNLI is urging recreational water users to follow government advice during the Covid-19 emergency and to stay at home to save lives.
With the Easter weekend and good weather approaching, Tynemouth RNLI’s two lifeboats remain on service and the volunteer crew are ready to respond at any time to vessels and people who get into difficulty at sea. However, the station is urging people to consider very carefully if going out on or into the water is an essential activity and to consider the impact which this might have on the RNLI, other emergency services and the NHS.
Following a number of incidents around the country last weekend where RNLI lifeboats and shore-based Coastguard teams were tasked to incidents involving recreational craft and water users such as surfers, yachts and kayakers, the RNLI and the UK Coastguard have asked people to follow government advice and stay close to home to take their daily exercise.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI said: ‘The RNLI remains ready to respond to emergencies at sea at all times during the current crisis.
'No-one going out on the water intends to get into difficulty but people do and every lifeboat launch increases the risk of spreading the virus. It may also impede our ability to respond to future incidents if our lifeboats have to be taken off service for a deep clean or if our volunteer crew members have to self-isolate or become ill.
'Due to Coronavirus the RNLI has had to suspend the rollout of lifeguard cover on local beaches which presents a double risk to anyone going into the water and emergency responders.
'Coastal incidents often also involve our shore-based colleagues from the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and UK Coastguard, and the same risks apply to the vital services they provide.
'We completely understand that people will want to take to the water, particularly as the weather improves, but we would ask people to consider the possible impact which this might have on the RNLI and other emergency services. By staying away from the water, you can also be a lifesaver'.
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.