Welsh schools out for Summer: RNLI and HM Coastguard offer vital safety advice

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard are reminding families in Wales to take care when visiting the coast.

Callum Robinson

Rhyl RNLI lifeguards in action

New figures reveal that during the school summer holidays* last year, 800 lifeguard incidents were reported in Wales.

As schools prepare to break up in Wales, RNLI beach lifeguards, are expecting to be extremely busy again during the long summer break.

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.

Last year RNLI lifeguards aided a total of 990 people during the school summer holidays across Wales.

Jo Price, the RNLI lead lifeguard for Ceredigion and South Wales, said:

‘Our lifeguards will be extremely busy during the school summer holidays. To stay safe, we’re reminding families to choose a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags which is the safest area as it is constantly monitored by our highly-trained lifeguards.

‘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.’

Throughout the summer months, a children’s RNLI Seaside Safety advert will be broadcast on TV channels with the catchy song reminding 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 young people 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.

Ends

Notes to editors

· Bi-Lingual Interview with a senior lifeguard available on request.

· * figures for Wales summer holidays – July 23 to Sept 1 2021

· June to August 2021 RNLI lifeguards aided 15,218 people and saved 90 lives across the UK

· Downloadable soundbite for radio from Ross Macleod, RNLI Water Safety – download 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

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Scott Dixon, RNLI Media Engagement Placement on 07890 066217 or email [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.

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