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RNLI’s Swim Safe returns to Scotland to deliver sea safety lessons to children

Lifeguards News Release

This summer, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has teamed up with Swim England to offer children aged 7-14 the opportunity to learn lifesaving water safety skills.

RNLI/Calum Chittleburgh

RNLI lifeguards teaching Float to Live

Last year, the RNLI in Scotland saw 267,191 visitors on the lifesaving charity’s eight lifeguarded beaches and expect that number to increase this summer.

Local delivery partners around the UK supported by the national governing body for swimming in England and the RNLI are running free Swim Safe sessions to teach children aged 7-14 how to stay safe in and around open water and what to do if they, or someone else, gets in difficulty – including how to Float to Live.

Since 2013, the Swim Safe programme has delivered free lifesaving sessions to more than 148,000 children across the UK.

Run by local partners with qualified lifeguards and instructors in three locations in Scotland in July and September, the sessions provide children with both water safety advice on land and in-water tuitions.

Iona Hamilton, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor and Swim Safe Co-ordinator, said: 'Last summer, RNLI lifeguards aided nearly 400 people across the eight beaches in Scotland. By educating children about water safety from a young age, together we can help reduce the number of incidents around our coasts and inland waters.

‘Swim Safe is a great way for young people to learn about the different dangers associated with open water swimming in a safe and fun environment with qualified instructors and lifeguards.

‘We want children and parents to enjoy the beautiful beaches around Scotland but also to consider their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.’

As part of the session, participants will have the opportunity put into practice the vital message of ‘Float to Live’, which could save the lives of them or other.

This is a simple technique where you lean on your back and use your arms and legs to stay afloat. It allows you to control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety and is proven to save lives.

The RNLI’s key water safety advice for 7-14 year-olds is:

  • Stop and think – Always swim in a safe place.
  • Stay together – Always swim with an adult, younger children should always be within arms reach.
  • Float – If you find yourself in trouble in the water, float on your back like a starfish.
  • Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard.

To find out more or to sign up for a RNLI Swim Safe session, visit


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.