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Safety warning as Welsh RNLI lifeguard patrols end

Lifeguards News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to be cautious when visiting the beach, as lifeguard patrols end across Wales.

RNLI/Anya Walton

With the end of the school holidays and the weather taking an autumnal turn, the RNLI is further winding down some of its beach lifeguard service.

As of Sunday 24 September, all beaches in Wales will no longer be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards, except for Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire which will be patrolled on weekends up until 5 November.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead:

‘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 visit a beach outside of the lifeguard season, never go alone. It’s vital that you have company who could get help, in the event of an emergency.

‘You should always carry a means of contact such as a mobile phone, if you get into trouble or see anyone else in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

‘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.

‘When using paddleboards, please remember to avoid offshore winds, wear a buoyancy aid, carry a phone in a waterproof pouch and to wear an appropriate leash to reduce the chance of separation from your board.’

Chris 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.’

To find your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and check its season dates, please visit:

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:

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

Media Contacts

For more information please contact Anya Walton Media Engagement Placement at [email protected] or on 07890066217, alternatively please contact Eleri Roberts Regional Media Officer at [email protected] or on 07771941390.

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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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.