Scouts Cymru and RNLI launch new Water Safety Awareness Badge

Lifeboats News Release

Today, 16 June, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Scouts Cymru have teamed up to launch a new Water Safety Awareness Badge.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Scouts Cymru have teamed up to launch a new Water Safety Awareness Badge. It is aimed to help Scouts Cymru members between the ages of six and 14 to gain vital life skills, as they enjoy coastal and inland waters this summer.

RNLI/

Scouts Cymru and RNLI launch new Water Safety Awareness Badge

It is aimed to help Scouts Cymru members between the ages of six and 14 to gain vital life skills, as they enjoy coastal and inland waters this summer.

The new RNLI safety initiative in partnership with Scouts Cymru has the possibility of providing 14,000 children and young people with key lifesaving skills to help them stay safe in and around coastal or inland waters.

Launching the new Water Safety Awareness Badge, Alice Beetlestone, RNLI Education Manager said:

‘On behalf of the RNLI, I would like to thank Scouts Cymru for supporting this exciting new safety initiative, which will provide children and young people across Wales with vital life skills to help them stay safe whilst enjoying coastal and inland waters this summer.

‘The new Water Safety Awareness Badge teaches children and young people to know and recognise the risks that water presents, this can help them minimise the chances of getting into danger in the water in the first place. The program also teaches young people how to help themselves if they fall into cold water. 40% of people who drowned in inland or coastal waters last year had no intention of being in the water. That’s why it’s vital that young people learn a simple, but very important, life skill - to Float to Live.

One of the main lessons as part of the Water Safety Awareness Badge is to Float to Live: 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’

Neil Horbury Scouts Cymru Commissioner for programme said: ‘We're delighted to be launching a new range of badges that guarantee fun and adventure while encouraging scouts to develop a greater understanding of water safety. Throughout its 115-year history the scouting movement has continued to evolve - these new badges make sure we are able to keep offering activities that educate and enthuse young people in equal measure.’

The new Water Safety Awareness Badge will teach Scouts Cymru members four main key messages. The four safety messages and key life skills covered in the program are:

1. Stop and Think

2. Stay together

3. Float

4. Call 999 if needed

Scouts Cymru members from Penarth and Baglan were the first to be awarded the new Water Safety Awareness badge as both teams took part in the pilot program last year.

Notes to editor

· Interview and filming opportunity will be available with both RNLI and Scouts Cymru representatives at 2pm outside Penarth RNLI lifeboat station, followed by further interview and photo opportunity at 6pm with Penarth Scouts group. Penarth Scouts group are one of two groups who took part in the pilot and first to be awarded the Water Safety Awareness Badge.

· To attend the media opportunity at Penarth Lifeboat Station please register your interest with Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941390 or email [email protected].

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941390 or email Eleri_Robert[email protected]. Alternatively 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.

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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.