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Whitby RNLI to host water safety event for sea swimmers

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday 28 January the crew will open the lifeboat station to those wanting to learn more about cold water swimming.

RNLI crew members Bod Marr and Matt Sharpe

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

RNLI crew members Bod Marr and Matt Sharpe who will be sharing their knowledge and experience at the event.
Whitby and the rest of the UK have seen a rise in the number of people enjoying swimming in the sea and other waterways. And it's no surprise with the wealth of health benefits as well as the social interactions it offers.

Ally Brisby who has been on the lifeboat crew for five years is an experienced open water swimmer, having completed the channel solo as well as an ice mile and other challenges. She said: 'As we found out towards the back end of last year when we rescued someone from the water, even the most experienced sea swimmers can get into difficulty. We are holding this event for anyone from complete beginners to more experienced swimmers to share our knowledge of the local swim conditions as well as important sea safety advice.'

The event will take place at Whitby Lifeboat Station at 1pm on Saturday 28 January. It is free of charge and attendants with have a chance to look around the lifeboat station before the presentation.

Speaking at the event will be Bod Marr who has been on the lifeboat crew for 25 years in June, and has surfed locally for 26 years. Bod will be talking through how to understand the tide forecasts, and how to look at the beach for clues as to how the sea will act that day.

Bod said: 'There is always more to learn about the sea, 26 years on and I am still learning every day. I am looking forward to being able to share a little bit of my knowledge to help people understand the tide times, spring and neap tides and rip currents.'

Also speaking will be RNLI Water Safety Officer Matt Sharpe who has been a volunteer on the crew for four years. Matt will talk about what to do should you find yourself in difficulty in the water.

He said: 'The RNLI's float to live message is saving lives, it is all about not panicking if you do get into trouble.'

Crew member Ally and Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes founded Whitby Wild Swimmers, a local sea swimming group around four years ago and hope that both members of the group and those thinking about starting swimming outdoors will come along. Ally will be on hand to advise about what equipment can help keep you safe, warm and more visible when sea swimming.

Ceri said: 'Anyone is welcome to come along to the session, there will be the opportunity to ask questions to the lifeboat crew and teas and coffees will be available.'

If you wish to attend please email [email protected].

If you do see someone in trouble in the water you can alert the RNLI by dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.

For more information contact lifeboat press officer Ceri Oakes at [email protected] or on 07813359428.

RNLI crew member Ally Brisby

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

RNLI crew member Ally Brisby who also coaches in outdoor swimming with her business Sea Swim Yorkshire
Picture of Ceri Oakes and Ally Brisby

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Ceri and Ally are both volunteers for the RNLI as well as founders of Whitby Wild Swimmers

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.