Coastal safety warning from RNLI ahead of bank holiday weekend
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.
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 https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches
Notes to editors
· Interviews available on request
· Images and Float to Live video available to download here: https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/8979F278-2C29-4DA2-8E25796C914F2AED/
· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate
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
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