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Swim Safe returns to the south west offering children free sea safety lessons

Lifeguards News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has joined forces with Swim England to offer children across the UK free lifesaving water safety skills this summer. In the south west, sessions will be running at Summerleaze beach in Bude and Swanpool beach in Falmouth.


Swim Safe for children aged 7-14

Recent research released by the lifesaving charity revealed over 11M* people visited the south west’s beaches last summer. RNLI lifeguards covering the region dealt with 11,216 incidents, aided 13,664 people and saved 57 lives. Younger children, in particular, required assistance more than any other age group.

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 into difficulty – including how to ‘Float to Live’.

In the south west, Swim Safe sessions can now be booked at Summerleaze beach in Bude on Saturday 30 July and Saturday 13 August, as well as at Swanpool beach in Falmouth every Sunday from 31 July until 4 September (inclusive).

Joel Ninnes, South West RNLI Water Safety Delivery Support said:

‘Last year, RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews were busy, aiding more than 50,000 people and saving 408 lives.

‘By educating children about water safety from a young age, together we can help reduce the number of incidents around our coasts and at inland locations.

‘That’s why we are encouraging parents of children between the ages of 7 and 14 to sign them up to the free Swim Safe sessions to help build their confidence in and around the water, while learning vital skills which could save their lives such as how to Float.

‘This is a simple technique where you lean back like a starfish, using 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.’

Since 2013, the Swim Safe programme has delivered free lifesaving sessions to more than 148,000 children across the UK – many of these visitors and holidaymakers.

The 45-minute sessions are run by local partners with trained instructors during the summer months at outdoor water locations including beaches and inland sites such as water sports centres.

Ashley Jones, Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Manager for Swim England said:

‘We’re pleased to be able to partner with the RNLI again to run free Swim Safe sessions this summer at a variety of coastal and inland locations around the UK.

‘We want children and their parents to enjoy themselves around water but also to think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.’

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 999/112 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard

Notes to editors

· To find out more and book your child’s free Swim Safe place, visit

· Swim England, and the RNLI work closely with local partners to facilitate Swim Safe sessions

· *RNLI figures from lifeguard daily logs which record the number of beach visitors throughout the day

· ** Children must be able to swim 25m unaided to be eligible for a session

· To learn how to teach your child to Float watch the video here

· For more information on the RNLI’s summer safety campaign visit

· To support RNLI lifesavers, please visit

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].


Swim Safe at Summerleaze beach

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.