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Whitby RNLI's first water safety talks are a success

Lifeboats News Release

The talks took place on Saturday 28 January at the lifeboat station.

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

A good crowd turned out to Whitby RNLI's first water safety talk
Four of Whitby RNLI's volunteer crew shared their expert knowledge with sea swimmers from Whitby and beyond.

Around 90 people attended over two sessions, the second being added due to high demand. They listened to a presentation and had the opportunity to ask questions and the end.

Bod Marr who has volunteered for the RNLI for 25 years talked about how to understand the tide, how it is measured and how it is affected by the moon cycles. This helps to choose the best time of day to swim.

Ally Brisby who is on the lifeboat crew but also coaches open water swimming through her business Sea Swim Yorkshire shared her experiences and knowledge of equipment and how she plans for a safe swim looking at the local conditions.

Student paramedic Andy Brighton talked about what to look out for in yourself and other swimmers to spot the first signs of hypothermia such as slurred speech and confusion, and how to warm up safely, as well as other medical issues that may be encountered when cold water swimming.

Matt Sharpe who is on the crew at Water Safety Officer at Whitby shared the simple but important messages:

STOP AND THINK - plan your swim, look at the conditions don't just go off the forecast.

STAY TOGETHER - safety in numbers, or if you do swim alone, let someone know what time you're expected back and get them to call for help if you're not.

FLOAT TO LIVE - if you do get into difficulty - don't panic, float on your back and catch your breath, this conserves energy and can save your life.

CALL 999 - if you see someone in the water and you think they may be in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard - don't delay. This can be the difference between finding someone in time or not.

Matt said: 'Don't hesitate to dial 999 if you have any doubts about someone's safety in the water, we would much rather go and check it out than get there when it's too late.'

Ceri Oakes lifeboat press officer at Whitby and founder of Whitby Wild Swimmers said: We all learned something from the talk, the knowledge and experience the crew have to share is invaluable. Even if people just took one thing away with them, it has made a difference and could help keep them safer at sea.

We would like to thank all those who attended and thank you for the kind donations in our collection bucket. Also a special thank you to Betty Bayliss and Hazel who made teas and coffees on the day.'

For more information contact Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or at [email protected]

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Crew member Matt Sharpe introduced the event

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Ally Brisby shared her wealth of sea swimming knowledge

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Bod Marr talked about local rips

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Crew member Andy Brighton shared some common ailments experienced when sea swimming

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.