Schools in Bridgend welcome back ‘Meet the Lifeguard’ programme
Earlier this summer, schools across Bridgend were visited by RNLI Lifeguards, who provided the primary school children with crucial beach safety advise ahead of the summer holidays.
A total of 45 schools have been visited across Bridgend. With as many as 6660 pupils in attendance. During these sessions children are taught about the importance of swimming at a lifeguarded beach, the RNLI flags, how to Float to Live if they get in trouble in the water and how to get help for others in distress along the coast.
During the session children are asked to demonstrate how to float and are tested on their knowledge of the flags and which activities are safe to do in between them. Lots of interactive tasks keep the children engaged and helps for them to better retain information. The session is followed by an opportunity for children to ask questions.
Water Safety Education Manager Anthony Jones said:
‘Our lifeguards really enjoyed returning to schools pre-school summer holidays. To provide children with potentially lifesaving knowledge. The Meet the lifeguard programme is really important leading up to the lifeguard summer season, where we see so many families travel to our fantastic beaches from all across the UK and Ireland. The programme, amongst other things, encourages families to plan their visit and always choose a lifeguarded beach.
We teach the children four important key messages. Our aim is to increase young children's awareness of the potential dangers around the coast and to share that knowledge with friends and family to broaden our reach to ensure the communities we work in stay as safe as possible when visiting the coast.’
The children are taught four key safety points:
STOP AND THINK
· Visit a lifeguarded beach
· Check the weather conditions and tide times
· Familiarise yourself with the risks surrounding the beaches
· Prepare yourself for the conditions - wetsuit, life jacket, sun protection
· The importance of never visiting the beach alone
· Go with a group, make sure there’s a responsible adult to supervise
· Set up a meeting point in case you get lost or are separated
· Float to Live
· Lie on your back in a star shape, push out your chest and keep your mouth and nose out of the water
· Move your arms around to stay afloat, don’t worry if your legs sink
· If you have the energy proceed to wave one arm and shout for help
CALL 999 AND ASK FOR THE COASTGUARD
· If you see anyone in trouble on a lifeguarded beach alert the lifeguards
· Anywhere else along the coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard
· Getting in and helping people is strongly discouraged to prevent putting yourself in danger
A member of staff from Cefn Glas Infant School said:
‘"Our children and staff thoroughly enjoyed our ‘Meet the Lifeguard’ sessions, thank you. The lifeguards were really engaging and ensured they delivered the very important messages in a child friendly manner that our young children were able to understand. They were very professional and full of fun and were able to answer some interesting questions from our children. A huge well done to them."
Any schools interested in further safety information or presentations from the RNLI can find more information at https://rnli.org/youth-education
Families looking for information to help them stay safe at the coast this summer can find it at: https://rnli.org/safety’
RNLI Media Contacts
For more information contact RNLI Media Engagement Placement (Wales and West) on 07890066217 or [email protected]. Or Danielle Rush Regional Media Manager, on 07786668829 or [email protected]. Alternatively please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202336789 or [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 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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