RNLI reminds public how to stay safe at the coast during heatwave

Lifeguards News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people visiting the coast to stay safe with temperatures set to soar this week.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguards on duty at Boscombe

Temperatures are set to hit 30°C by midweek, and with the school holidays now over for most, the RNLI is also winding down some of its beach lifeguard service which runs throughout the peak summer season.

Ross Macleod, RNLI Water Safety Manager said: ‘With the warm weather forecast this week, we want to remind everyone to stay safe when visiting the coast.

‘As the peak season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and with a reduction of lifeguarded beaches, we’re asking people to continue to take care and be aware of the dangers.

‘If you are planning on swimming at a lifeguarded beach, we highly recommend you swim between the red and yellow flags as this is the safest area and is most closely monitored by lifeguards.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can.

‘With warmer weather many may make the most of the evenings and in recent weeks there has been an increase in paddleboard rescues.’

Last week two people were rescued by New Quay RNLI after being blown offshore in strong winds on their paddleboards. The alarm was raised by a member of public on the shore who heard them calling for help. They had been in the water for two hours but were wearing buoyancy aids.

Hartlepool RNLI inshore lifeboat recently rescued a teenage swimmer in difficulty who was almost a mile out to sea.

Ross said: ‘If you find yourself in a rip current the RNLI advice is not to swim against it or you will get exhausted. If you can, stand up and wade, or swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the rip then head to shore. If you can, raise your hand and call for help – and remember, Float to Live if you can’t make it back or become too tired.’

RNLI lifeguards will still be on some beaches until the end of September. To find your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and check its season dates, please visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

RNLI Float to live advice:

· Tilt your head back with ears submerged

· Relax and try to control your breathing

· Move your hands to help you stay afloat

· Once you are over the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety

· In an emergency call 999 or 112– if you are at sea or on the beach ask for the coastguard

The lifesaving charity’s lifeboats based across the UK and Ireland remain on service 24/7, 365 days a year.

Notes to editors

· More information on how to Float to Live: https://rnli.org/safety/float

· Downloadable image of RNLI lifeguards at Boscombe Beach: https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/5CE87D51-ECF6-4EC3-9D99AEF8FDF63CF5/

· The RNLI is proud to work in partnership with local authorities and beach owners to make our beaches safer for every one.

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.