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RNLI in Scotland urges public to stay safe ahead of Storm Babet

Lifeboats News Release

As Scotland braces for Storm Babet, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is asking people to stay away from the coast and to consider the dangers the storm could bring.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Crew on the fore deck of the Girvan Shannon class lifeboat Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan 13-23 at sea in rough weather performing a search and rescue exercise.

Red, amber and yellow weather warnings have been issued by the Met office across the country with winds forecast to exceed 70mph and heavy rain expected until Saturday.

Storm Babet poses a safety risk to those visiting the coast and the lifesaving charity is urging the public to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

Michael Avril, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead Scotland, said: ‘The forecasted strong winds along with heavy rain are likely to cause very dangerous conditions on our coastlines around Scotland.

‘The RNLI is advising people in Scotland not to visit the coast during this time in order to stay safe. It is a possibility that by being too close to water and cliff edges in these conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.

‘If you see someone else in danger in the water at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If inland, call 999 and ask for the appropriate emergency service. Advise them to float to live and don’t go in the water yourself – you will end up in difficulty too.’

The RNLI advice is:

• Do not visit stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges

• Follow emergency service advice around essential travel

• Please do not take risk by putting yourself, family, friends and rescue services in danger by visiting the coast.

• In an emergency call 999 and ask for the emergency services

Notes to editors

· Michael Avril, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead Scotland, is available for online interviews

RNLI media contacts

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

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

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.