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Coldingham Bay RNLI Lifeguards assist 10 people in tricky surf conditions

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Lifeguards at Coldingham Bay in the Scottish Borders are reminding the public of beach safety advice after rough conditions see 10 people being aided.

A decent swell has been hitting the coast of south east Scotland in recent days seeing breaking waves (well in excess of 5-6ft at times) creating tricky conditions in the water with an influx of swimmers, bodyboarders and surfers looking to enjoy the waves.

RNLI Lifeguards based at Coldingham Bay entered the water 7 times in one day (Wednesday, 26 July) to assist a number of swimmers, bodyboarders and surfers, acting early to prevent full blown rescue situations as people were pulled towards rip currents or caught out by the breaking waves.

RNLI Lifeguard, Matt Gibbons said ‘Although there aren’t many in Scotland, you should always try to visit a lifeguarded beach. There, the Lifeguards will set up safe zones for different water sports.’

‘The red and yellow flags indicate the area in which it is safest to swim and bodyboard, whilst the black and white flags are for surfers, paddleboarders and kayaks or other hard craft.’

‘Please try to stay within your zone, and listen to lifeguards when they ask you to relocate to the correct zone. They are doing this to prevent you getting caught by a rip current or being hurt by another craft.’

‘Stay within your depth and be aware of how you are drifting with the currents. If you find yourself in a current try to stand up, don’t panic. If you need help, keep hold of your board or float on your back, raise a hand and shout for help; a Lifeguard will come to you.’

Senior Lifeguard Rose McTavish went to the aid of a stand up paddleboarder who was around 400m offshore. She said ‘The power in the waves have caused a number of people to get caught out. Please think twice before heading out on your paddleboard in these conditions.’

‘If you do head out we recommend paddleboarders wear a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, leash and have a waterproofed means for calling for help. If you are going for a paddle along the coast, you can log your plan with the Coastguard maritime rescue coordination centre for your area.’

The swell is forecast to drop over the next few days but the importance of swimming inbetween the red and yellow flags is not diminished.

Notes to editors

· RNLI lifeguards are on duty at Coldingham Bay Daily 29 May - 5 September / Weekends Only 11 - 26 September / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm

· RNLI lifeguards are on the following beaches in Scotland Aberdour, Silver Sands, Burntisland Beach, Elie Harbour Beach, Leven Beach, St.Andrews East Sands Beach, St.Andrews West Sands Beach, Broughty Ferry Beach

· RNLI Lifeguards across the UK and RoI saved 117 lives in 2022

RNLI media contacts

Matthew Gibbons, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, North Berwick, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

24 hour RNLI Central Press Office, 01202 336789 or email [email protected]


Lifeguard Matthew can be seen out on the rescue board during a patrol at Coldingham Bay

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.