Safety advice for coastal visitors during COVID-19 outbreak
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging anyone planning a visit to the coast to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks.
Given the current COVID-19 outbreak and the importance of social distancing and avoiding non-essential contact with others, coastal areas may be seen as providing an opportunity to enjoy fresh air and exercise while adhering to the government’s guidance. However our coastal areas can also present dangers of their own. The RNLI is asking people to ensure they follow essential water safety advice.
Please take the time to take note of signage at the entrances of beaches advising of the local hazards, check tide times to avoid being cut off and to check weather conditions before setting out as these can change quickly. If you see someone in difficulty, or you get into difficulty yourself, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
More safety advice can be found at www.rnli.org/safety
Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, said:
‘Our beaches and coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, so we’re urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.
‘Whether you’re fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing or just going for a walk, we’re asking people to be extra responsible and to avoid taking unnecessary risks to themselves and others which could put unnecessary pressure on front line services:
- Take care if walking near cliffs - know your route
- Check tide times daily
- If going afloat, carry a means for calling for help and always wear a lifejacket
- Check your equipment is in good working order
- Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
‘During these unprecedented times, we have taken steps to close our lifeboat stations and shops to the public. However RNLI lifeboats and stations remain fully operational and we will still launch to those in peril on the sea.
‘As with all public places we’d encourage people to follow guidelines provided by the government to maintain a two-metre distance, follow good hygiene practices and avoid mass gatherings.’
- Phone and Skype interviews are available with RNLI Head of Water Safety, Gareth Morrison. Please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789
- Archive video footage and photos are available upon request or you can visit rnli.org.uk/news-and-media where you can download further content.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.