RNLI urges people to stay safe at the coast ahead of Storm Arwen

Lifeboats News Release

In anticipation of Storm Arwen 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/Stephen Duncombe

Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat operating in rough 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 widespread gales across the UK and Ireland from Friday and into Saturday and pose a safety risk to those visiting the coast.
Since the Met Office named Storm Arwen, they have increased the severity to a rare red wind warning which will see gusts in excess of 80mph in coastal locations on the east coast of Scotland and the north-east of England. The red weather warning will be in force from 3pm Friday to 2am Saturday. An amber wind warning has also been issued for south-west and north-west England, as well as western Wales, and will be in force from midnight on Saturday.
RNLI Water Safety Manager, 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.’
The RNLI’s key water safety advice is:
 Take care if walking near cliffs – be aware of ice and frost, know your route and keep dogs on a lead.
 Check weather forecasts and tide times daily.
 Take a fully charged phone.
 Check your equipment is in good working order.
 Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities.
 In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Notes to editors

· Pre-recorded safety advice available to download here.

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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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.