Looe RNLI New Year day’s dip cancelled

Lifeboats News Release

With the cancellation of the Looe RNLI New Year day dip, our volunteer crew are offering safety advice for anyone considering a winter’s dip in the sea

Looe RNLI Lifeboat Station Albatross boathouse at Christmas

RNLI/Ian Foster

Looe RNLI Lifeboat Station Albatross boathouse at Christmas

Due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns and tier restrictions, Looe RNLI Lifeboat station have already cancelled the popular New Year day dip due to be held on 1 January 2021.

Former crew member, Guy Cooper, who organises the New Year day dip said: ‘We were devastated to have to cancel this popular fundraising event, it has been well supported over the years and has been one of the key annual contributors raising money for Looe lifeboat station. Last year’s total raised an amazing £1537, which was almost enough to fuel both boats for launches and training throughout the year. Keep an eye on our social media pages as we are thinking about an Easter or summer day dip if restrictions allow and it is safe to do so.

“Throughout the pandemic, the crew at Looe have been ready to answer the pager and rescue those in difficulty. As a charity, the RNLI relies on the support of the public to continue saving lives and that support is needed now more than ever. Help us brave a wave we never expected, by making a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal at RNLI.org/Xmas

Around the country there has been an explosion of interest and participation in outdoor swimming with many people trying it for the very first time and volunteer lifeboat crews have dealt with a relatively high number of incidents since the end of the summer, involving swimmers.

While most open water swimmers enjoy themselves completely safely, the volunteer RNLI crew in Looe are concerned that many swimmers or dippers may still want to see in the New Year with a dip in the sea. The volunteer crew in Looe would like to take the opportunity to remind swimmers on the importance of being aware of the potential dangers of taking a dip in the sea at this time of year, especially as there will be no lifeguard or safety team on the beaches.

There are a number of things to help ensure you have an enjoyable and safe time in the water such as not swimming alone, staying in your depth and knowing how to warm up properly afterwards, which sounds obvious but is crucial to avoid any delayed effects of the cold. If in any doubt, please stay out of the water.

The RNLI’s key safety advice for taking a winter dip is:

  • Never swim alone – always go with someone else to a familiar spot
  • Always check the weather forecast, including tide information and wave height
  • If in doubt, stay out – there is always another day to go for a swim
  • Take plenty of warm clothes for before and after your dip, along with a hot drink to help you warm up again when you come out of the water
  • Wearing a wetsuit will help increase your buoyancy and reduce the chances of suffering cold water shock
  • Be seen – wear a brightly coloured swim cap and consider using a tow float
  • Acclimatise to the water temperature slowly – never jump straight in
  • Stay in your depth and know your limits
  • If you get into trouble remember FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing
  • Take a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch
  • If you or someone else is in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard

END

Notes to editors

This news release compliments RNLI regional media releases regarding open water and cold water swimming

More safety information can be found on https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/open-water-swimming

Information

· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone

Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk

or Marianne Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or marianne_quinn@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789

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.

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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.