RNLI issues important safety advice in Northern Ireland

Lifeguards News Release

The RNLI has issued an important safety warning with the good weather set to continue. The charity is reminding the public that there are currently no lifeguards on beaches in Northern Ireland at present and people should exercise caution when visiting the coast and be aware of the dangers.

Rollout of the normal seasonal lifeguard service was halted at the end of March due to the measures put in place by the Northern Ireland Executive to control the spread of Coronavirus. Despite the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the charity will be running a restricted lifeguard service on some Northern Ireland beaches, however, this service will not be starting until later in June.

“As we move to a gradual relaxing of restrictions as advised by the Northern Ireland Executive and we experience the good weather, we expect many people to be eager to visit the coast.” said Karl O’Neill, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor.

“We ask those who are visiting beaches to continue to be aware of the inherent dangers and to avoid taking risks. The RNLI’s water safety campaign is advising people to keep their family safe when they are at the coast, avoid using inflatables and if they see anyone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water

  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone

  • Don’t use inflatables

  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float

  • In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

    The RNLI’s safety information can be found at rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

  • RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew in Northern Ireland remain on call and are expecting to see an increase in callouts as the good continues and lockdown restrictions gradual ease. Please take extra care and follow water safety advice.
    ENDS

    RNLI media contacts
    For information or to request an interview please contact Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00 353 871254124 or email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00 353 876483547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk


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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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.