Coastal safety warning from RNLI ahead of bank holiday weekend

Lifeboats News Release

Ahead of the bank holiday weekend in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and with fine and dry weather forecast for parts of the UK, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging anyone visiting the coast to be aware of the risks and to choose a lifeguarded beach.


RNLI Lifeguard on duty

In the south west of England, the good weather will also coincide with some big surf conditions and dangerous rip currents which can quickly sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

That’s why lifesaving charity the RNLI is encouraging people to take care of themselves, their families and their friends at the coast.

Nick Ayers, from the RNLI Water Safety team said: ‘RNLI lifesavers have been busy all summer long keeping people safe and responding to incidents at the coast.

‘The school summer holidays are nearly over but with more dry weather on the way over the bank holiday weekend, if you are planning on heading to the coast we recommend you choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags which is the safest area as it is constantly monitored by our lifeguards.

‘If you find yourself in trouble in the water remember Float to Live - lean back spreading your arms and legs like a starfish to stay afloat, control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.

‘And if you find yourself or see someone else in danger at the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

UK beaches have been packed for much of the summer with more than 22,000 visitors recorded at Watergate Bay in Newquay, Cornwall, in a single day recently (Saturday 13 August) by RNLI lifeguards.

Nick added: ‘Beaches can become very busy, especially during warm weather and we urge those with children to keep an eye on them on the beach and near the water’s edge.’

The RNLI’s key safety advice is:

· Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags

· If you find yourself in trouble in the water, Float to Live - fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs like a starfish, and float

· In a coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach go to

Notes to editors

· Interviews available on request

· Images and Float to Live video available to download here:

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RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact the RNLI press office on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.