RNLI issues water safety advice ahead of rising temperatures in Scotland

Lifeguards News Release

With warm weather returning to parts of Scotland this week, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe at the coast.

RNLI/Calum Chittleburgh

RNLI urges people to be aware of cold water shock

With air temperatures set to be rising over the next week, the RNLI is reminding people about the dangers of cold water shock, which can seriously affect breathing and movement, and can occur in any water temperature below 15c.

Over half of those who get into danger at the coast each year never planned to enter the water – slips, trips and falls are a significant problem. The RNLI is urging people to ‘Float to Live’ if they get into trouble in the water. This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, then calling for help or swimming to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard, or the fire and rescue service if you are inland.

Michael Avril, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Scotland said: ‘With another period of warm weather forecast for this week, we want to remind everyone to stay safe when visiting the coast.

‘With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks. The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still cold.

‘The sea temperature around Scotland rarely gets above 15 degrees, and the risk of cold water shock significantly increases as air temperatures rise.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.’

The RNLI is also reminding people to visit a lifeguarded beach, where possible, swim between the red and yellow flags this summer, and to ensure they take the necessary precautions for any coastal activities.

For further information on the water safety campaign visit: www.RNLI.org/FloatUK2022

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: www.rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches


Notes to editors

· Interviews are available on request.

· For more information on the RNLI’s beach safety messaging, please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

· To learn more about our lifesaving ‘Float to Live’ technique, please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/float

· RNLI lifeguards are on eight beaches in Scotland. They are: Silver Sands, Coldingham, St Andrews East Sands, St Andrews West Sands, Elie Harbour, Burntisland, Leven and Broughty Ferry.

· For more information about the RNLI’s water safety campaign in Scotland: https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2022/june/23/rnli-scotland-launch-safety-campaign-as-267000-visited-beaches-last-summer

· The RNLI has 46 lifeboat stations around Scotland, with volunteer crews ready to respond.

· More images available upon request.

RNLI media contacts

Claire Thomson, RNLI Media Engagement Placement for Scotland, 07929 673286, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.