RNLI call for public to stay safe to protect themselves during half-term

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging the public to take extra care if they visit the coast during half-term – to keep everyone safe.

Padstow all-weather lifeboat escorting Bude inshore lifeboat back to Summerleaze beach

Robin Bale

Padstow all-weather lifeboat escorting Bude inshore lifeboat back to Summerleaze beach

With Covid-19 cases on the rise and different lockdown restrictions in force throughout the UK and Ireland - along with extended school holidays in some regions - the lifesaving charity is calling for people to act responsibly at the coast to protect themselves, their loved ones and front line emergency services.

RNLI Head of Water Safety Gareth Morrison said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crews have remained on call 24/7 throughout the pandemic.

‘We would urge everyone to follow the latest government advice and lockdown restrictions in their area but for those who are at the coast, please act responsibly. That way you are not just protecting yourself and loved ones but also, not putting our lifeboat crews and lifeguards at unnecessary risk.

‘We expect that many more people than normal at this time of year will be staying in the UK during the school holidays. And if you are at the coast please do all you can to stay safe – whether walking your dog along coastal paths, paddleboarding or swimming in the sea.

‘Whether you intend to be in the water or not, cold water shock is a very real threat, no matter how experienced you are.

‘If you do need help or spot anyone else in danger please call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The RNLI’s key coastal safety advice is:

  • Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times, read local hazard signage and let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back
  • Keep a close eye on your family and keep dogs on a lead near the edge of cliffs
  • If walking or running be aware that coastal paths, promenades and piers may be slippery or prone to waves breaking over them
  • 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

For details of which beaches still have RNLI lifeguard patrols, go to https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Interviews are available via phone, Skype, or Microsoft Teams
  • The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations around the coast of the UK and Ireland, and they continue to launch to those in peril at sea throughout the pandemic.
  • To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: rnli.org/donate

For more information, please contact RNLI National Media Officer Andy Rose on 07976 523794 or email andrew_rose@rnli.org.uk Alternatively, contact the press office on 01202 336789 or pressoffice@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 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.

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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.