Float to live

This summer, fewer lifeguard patrols will be on hand to supervise or rescue your family. So make sure you know how to float and if you or your loved ones get into danger, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Leave difficult rescues to the lifesavers. If there are lifeguards nearby, alert them. 

If you or your children are struggling in the water, remember: FLOAT TO LIVE. To see how to float in water, watch the video.

How to float

5 steps to know how to float

  • If you fall into water, fight your instinct to thrash around.
  • Lean back, extend your arms and legs.
  • If you need to, gently move them around to help you float.
  • Float until you can control your breathing.
  • Only then, call for help or swim to safety.

How do you keep your family safe?

Without you by their side, your children are vulnerable at the beach. They need you to protect them from the sea’s unpredictable waves, rip currents and cold water. 

Don’t use inflatables – they get swept out to sea, with you or your child on them. And watch out for rip currents. Here’s how to spot them and get out of them. Every beach is different, so make a point of reading any safety signs. 

What rescue teams are available?

Although there won't be lifeguard patrols on every beach, RNLI lifeboat crews, MCA Coastguards and helicopters are at the ready to answer every call for help, 24/7.

The RNLI is a charity - we rely on donations to equip, train and support our lifesaving services around the coast.

What else can you do?

Share the safety messages and how to float information with your loved ones through social media or email. Power the RNLI's lifesavers through their toughest summer with a donation. And we'd love to send you news, rescue stories, videos and more from our lifesaving charity - simply sign up to our emails.