RNLI lifeguards introduce extended Easter patrols at Sefton
From Saturday, RNLI lifeguards will return to their posts in Sefton to provide a three week Easter service. The usual two week period has been extended to provide cover during the local school holidays. RNLI lifeguards will patrol beaches at Crosby, Formby, Ainsdale and Southport until 24 April.
Last summer over 20M people visited a lifeguarded beach, the highest number recorded since the RNLI introduced lifeguard patrols in 2001.
Every year RNLI lifeguards are involved in carrying out water rescues, administering casualty care, delivering water safety information and helping to reunite missing children with their families. Over the past few weeks they have been training and practicing their skills so that they are ready to face what the upcoming season brings.
The RNLI will carry out their usual lifeguard service this year across the UK and Channel Islands in its standard phased approach. The Sefton beaches will be the first to go on service until the next beaches go on service from Saturday 9 April, ahead of the Easter holidays. The number of beaches will gradually increase through the season until the peak school summer holidays when over 240 beaches are patrolled.
Andy Jordan, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor says:
‘RNLI lifeguards are at the forefront of the charity’s lifesaving work. Last year was a busy season and we are expecting coastal areas to be just as busy in the summer season ahead. It’s really good news that we’ve been able to extend the service and our guards area ready and prepared for families visiting over the Easter period.
‘The RNLI has been working closely with partners and local communities to ensure the beaches and lifeguard units are ready and equipped, and that lifeguard training has been performed seamlessly.
‘Pre-season preparations have gone well and our lifeguards are looking forward to getting back on the beaches and doing what they do best; offering preventative safety advice to visitors and rescuing those in difficulty in the water or on the beach itself.
‘However, it is important to remember that our lifeguards can’t be everywhere. Our lifeguards will be supported by the charity’s 24/7 lifeboat service and the local independent lifeboat at Southport. We still urge anyone visiting the coast to take responsibility for themselves and their family this summer.’
We have a number of patrolled beaches around the coast from the Easter holidays. Find your nearest at rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches.
Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Wales and the North West says:
‘Heading to coastal waters is a great way to have fun and stay active, especially during the summer months. But, weather conditions can change quickly and, if you’re not careful, you can easily get caught out.
‘It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the hazards of the environment. It can be an unpredictable environment, particularly during early summer when the risk of cold water shock significantly increases, as air temperatures warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold. We’d remind anyone entering the water to take extra care and avoid unnecessary risks as early season conditions are more challenging.
‘Taking basic precautions can greatly reduce the risk of getting into difficulty, and improve your chance of being found quickly should you need rescuing. With this in mind, we urge beach visitors to come dressed appropriately to ensure your visit is both safe and enjoyable. For activities like paddleboarding, we’d recommend you wear a wetsuit, as it will keep you warm in an emergency. Wearing an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket is also vital, and carry a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.’
The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice.
· Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
· Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
· Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water – don’t allow your family to swim alone.
· If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
· In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Notes to editors:
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Manager in Wales, the North West and Isle of Man on 07786 668829.
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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