RNLI offers safety advice to North West beachgoers ahead of summer holiday
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard are reminding families to take care when visiting the North West coast as figures reveal that during last year’s UK school summer holidays*, of the 41 lives saved by RNLI lifeguards in 2021 39% were children under 13.
Last year RNLI lifeguards in the North West** assisted nearly 18,000 people across the regions beaches. This summer is expected to be equally busy, especially with the great weather forecasted for the start of the school holidays.
The RNLI provide a daily seasonal lifeguard service between 10am-6pm on Leasowe Bay, West Kirby, Moreton, Harrison Drive, The Plateaux, New Brighton Perch Rock, Formby, Ainsdale, Southport and Crosby beaches.
The RNLI and HM Coastguard are asking those visiting the coast to choose a lifeguarded beach and be aware of some basic advice to keep themselves and their families safe.
Siobhan Murphy, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said; ‘With the exceptionally warm weather, the RNLI lifeguard team are looking forward to welcome families back to the beaches. To help stay safe the RNLI would like to reminding families to visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags – this is the area which is monitored by the charity’s lifeguards throughout the day.
‘In the North West it’s important to check the tides times at the beach you plan to visit. Our tides can come up very quickly and it’s easy to be caught out. You can check tides times online and via apps, or you can always stop in and speak to lifeguards, where the team will be happy to offer any safety advice at the start of your day.’
Siobhan continues: ‘However, if you do find yourselves or see someone else in difficulty, don’t try and attempt the rescue yourself - call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’
The RNLI is also reminding everyone of its Float to Live advice, Siobhan Murphy said; ‘A simple skill we ask everyone of any age to remember is how to Float to live if they find themselves in difficulty in the water. Lean back like a starfish, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. This will allow you to control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. The technique has been proven to save lives.’
To help share these vital messages to younger audiences, a children’s RNLI Seaside Safety advert will be broadcast on TV channels throughout the summer months. The aim of the catchy song is to remind those visiting the coast to float like a starfish if they find themselves in difficulty in the water.
Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard said: ‘We’re urging anyone visiting the coast and taking part in coastal activities to be aware of the dangers so they can have a safe and enjoyable summer.
‘Always check the weather conditions and tide times before heading to the coast as it’s very easy to find yourself quickly cut off by the tide or blown offshore. Whatever activity you choose to do, whether it’s swimming, paddleboarding, walking or anything else near the water, look out for your friends and family to help keep each other safe.
‘Please enjoy the UK’s wonderful beaches and coastline but respect their dangers and remember, in a coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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 and non-swimmers should always be within arm’s 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.
Media Opportunity: RNLI Interviews and float to live demonstration* with RNLI Lifeguards. Please contact Claire Elshaw on the numbers below to register interest.
*subject to weather/water conditions
When: Tuesday 19th July, 2022.To meet at 10am for 10:30am start,
Where: Crosby Lake Adventure Centre, Crosby Coastal Park, The Esplanade, off Cambridge Rd, Waterloo, Merseyside L22 1RR
Notes to editors
- Please register your interest to join the RNLI at the media opportunity by contacting Claire Elshaw on the numbers below. There will also be an opportunity to film a Float To Live demonstration with the RNLI lifeguards after the interviews.
- * figures for England and Wales summer holidays – July 23 to Sept 1 2021
- ** Figures include rescues on Crosby beach, where RNLI lifeguards provide a rescue service throughout the year.
- Soundbite from Ross MacLeod from the RNLI on Water Safety https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/3E4CDD14-3132-47FE-9D7A8F683EDD2907/
- Extract of Storm Force Magazine downloadable here
- Kid’s Float to Live tv advert downloadable here RNLI.org/FloatThisSummer
- To learn how to teach your child to Float watch the video here
- To support RNLI lifesavers, please visit RNLI.org/Go Donate
- Photo credit RNLI/Nigel Millard
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Claire Elshaw, Regional Media Officer on 07468 353 082 or email [email protected]. Alternatively contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 / [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.
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