RNLI urges people to stay safe ahead of Storm Ciara this weekend

Lifeboats News Release

In anticipation of Storm Ciara and the predicted rough weather in the coming days, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Girvan lifeboat facing storm conditions

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds will bring heavy rain and widespread gales across the UK and Ireland this weekend and pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

The Met Office has issued several weather warnings starting from Saturday for north-western areas, then covering the whole of the UK by Sunday. Storm Ciara is expected to bring a range of impacts, including delays and cancellations to transport services, damage to power supplies and large coastal waves.

Providing advice on how to stay safe this weekend, Regional Water Safety Lead, Guy Addington said, ‘This rough weather could make visiting our coasts around the UK and Ireland treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.’

‘Sadly, around 150 people accidentally lose their lives around UK and Irish waters each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those in difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is set to help our volunteers to continue to save lives at sea. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI volunteers will be ready to face the storm if the call comes in

RNLI/Stephen Duncombe

Lowestoft lifeboat punches through a wave

RNLI/Nigel Millard

An RNLI lifeboat faces a large wave as it heads out in stormy conditions

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.