RNLI ‘Meet the Lifeguard’ programme returns to primary schools in the south west

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards across the south west have been visiting primary schools this spring providing up to 20,000 children with key beach safety advice before they visit the coast with their families this summer.

RNLI

Pupils at St Germans Primary School learn how to Float to Live

Schools across Cornwall and Devon are being offered free 40 minute beach safety talks for key stage 2 children during the spring term. The RNLI normally offers these talks every year, but the covid-19 pandemic meant they were cancelled for the last two years.

The lifeguards talk to children about why it’s important to swim at a lifeguarded beach, how to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water, what the different flags mean, how to spot and escape a rip current and what to do in an emergency. The children will also learn more about the role of a lifeguard and ask any questions, see the equipment they use and learn about the safety signage. And afterwards the children can take home leaflets to share key safety advice with their friends and families. Any schools wishing to book a visit can do so by emailing [email protected].

Joel Ninnes, Water Safety Delivery Support for the south west, says: ‘After a two year break due to covid, the lifeguards have really enjoyed getting back into schools and talking with the children to share how to stay safe at the coast this summer.

‘The main role of our RNLI lifeguards is to keep beach users safe through preventative actions. Our school talks aim to explain to children about how to float, the risks in and around the water and how to seek help.

‘Offering this programme to young children increases awareness of the potential dangers around the coast and encourages families to plan their visit and always choose a lifeguarded beach. Being aware of the tide times, weather conditions and beach flags can significantly reduce your risk of getting into danger whilst at the beach this summer.’

The RNLI is urging anybody choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by adhering to the 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

· 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 999/112 and ask for the Coastguard


Notes to editors

· Please see attached photos of RNLI lifeguards delivering school talks at St. Germans Primary School and St. Uny Primary School in Cornwall

· These talks are completely free and any schools wishing to book a visit can do so by emailing: [email protected]

· For more info please visit our education resources: https://rnli.org/youth-education/education-resources/upper-primary

· RNLI lifeguards are starting their patrols on Saturday 9 April. A press release will be sent out next week with more information.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected]. or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected] Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

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 over 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 142,200 lives.

RNLI

Meet the Lifeguard session at St Uny Primary School

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.