RNLI lifeguards return to Kent beaches for half-term
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards return to watch over Kent beaches ahead of the half-term holiday (Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June), when people are expected to visit the coast to enjoy the summer sunshine.
The charity's lifeguards, in partnership with Thanet District Council, will be operating daily safety patrols on some of the county's busiest beaches from 10am to 6pm, starting on Saturday 28 May, throughout the half-term holiday that ends on Friday 3 June.
Last year, almost half a million visitors enjoyed the beautiful beaches in the area, with RNLI lifeguards there attending 511 incidents and saving 4 lives.
For those heading to the beach this half-term, the RNLI's top five safety tips are:
1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
3. Check tide times before you go
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard as soon as you can. If you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.
Although the weather is getting warmer, the water temperature is still cold and can seriously affect your physical response. If you find yourself in difficulty in the water, try to keep calm and not panic or fight against any currents.
If you’re able to do so, lean back and extend your arms and legs to keep your mouth and nose out of the water. Float until you can control your breathing which should only take around one minute. Then call for help and raise your hand to attract attention or try to swim to safety.
RNLI lifeguards have all undergone comprehensive training and passed rigorous fitness tests to ensure that they are ready for a busy season ahead. 95% of the lifeguards’ role is preventative, and the teams will be on hand to offer friendly safety advice to visitors.
Charlie Frame, Lead RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in Kent, said:
'The charity's lifeguards in Thanet and Swale spend a great deal of time developing their lifesaving and first aid skills to help visitors enjoy their time on the beach. We have worked closely with partners and local communities to make sure the beaches and lifeguard units are ready and equipped for the 2022 season.
Our teams are there to offer extra peace of mind to beachgoers so they can have a great day out in the sunshine. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling 12 beaches during the half-term holiday and are available to help anyone who gets into trouble.'
Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council, said:
‘We welcome the return of RNLI lifeguards to our most popular bays this weekend, in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the school half term holiday.
Visitors to our coastline should always remember to plan ahead and, where possible, visit lifeguarded beaches if they plan to go in the water. At beaches which do not currently have a lifeguard, people should always follow the RNLI’s water safety guidance.
In addition, we would remind everyone to park responsibly and remember to use the litter and recycling bins provided.’
The lifeguarded beaches where members of the public are encouraged to swim over the half-term holiday from 10am until 6pm are:
• West Bay
• Minnis Bay
• St Mildred’s
• Westbrook Bay
• Margate Main
• Botany Bay
• Joss Bay
• Stone Bay
• Broadstairs/Viking Bay
A peak season service will also begin on other Kent beaches in time for the school holidays.
To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguardedbeaches
To find out more information about how to float and what to do if you find yourself caught in cold water visit https://rnli.org/safety/float
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.
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
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