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RNLI releases lifesaving warning ahead of long heatwave

Lifeguards News Release

The Met Office is forecasting a period of prolonged heat this weekend and across next week, with temperatures due to hit the low 30s in some parts of the country.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguards monitoring a busy beach.

As the public prepares to make the most of the glorious weather over the next few days, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging the public to stay safe at the coast as people flock to the beach.

The RNLI, with the support of HM Coastguard, is urging everyone to remember to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. To do this: 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.

Sam Hughes, from the RNLI Water Safety Team said: ‘It is great to hear that the sun is on its way, but we want to remind everyone to stay safe at the coast. If you are planning on going to the beach, we would encourage you to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.'

‘Water temperatures are still cold which increases the risk of cold-water shock. If you're planning on going into the water please enter slowly, giving your body a chance to acclimatise to the cold. Avoid jumping or diving straight in.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, use 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.'

Using the Float to Live technique helped save the lives of Dave Henderson, 52, from Ilminster and Brian Harding, 73, from Chard. They were on a fishing trip on the River Axe, near Axmouth, when they got into trouble in the water.

Find out more about their incredible fight for survival and how they were rescued by RNLI volunteers on the RNLI News Centre.

For further information on the RNLI’s water safety campaign visit:

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here:

Notes to Editors

  • Pre-recorded interviews with Gabbi Batchelor, RNLI Water Safety Education Manager, a Float to Live demonstration and case study interviews are available for download here.
  • RNLI water safety interviews are available upon request.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Charlotte Cranny-Evans on [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 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.

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.