Safety

Whether you're heading to the beach, to the coast, or out to sea, we've collected together our essential safety advice so you can make the most of your time on the water.

The coast is an exciting place to be – but it’s easier than you think to get into trouble in the water. Stay safe with our essential safety advice.

Photo: Andrew Parish

The coast is an exciting place to be – but it’s easier than you think to get into trouble in the water. Stay safe with our essential safety advice.

Heading down to the coast or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active. But, if you're not careful, it's a lot easier to get into trouble in the water than you might think. Conditions can change quickly and, if you're not prepared, you can easily get caught out.

We've collected together all our advice in one place, so you can find the information you need to make the most out of your time at the coast. Whether you're going to the beach, exploring the coast, or venturing out onto the water, we have the sea safety advice to help you stay safe.

We've put together a comprehensive guide to coastal safety, so you know what dangers to look out for when you head to the coast. Thinking of going kayaking? Angling? Surfing? Our sea safety experts have created activity guides covering a whole range of watersports and hobbies, so you can prepare yourself properly for the challenges of your chosen activity. There's even advice for your dog!

If you're looking for water safety activities for kids, check out Swim Safe - our free summer water safety sessions for children aged 7-14. We've also put together some beach safety advice to help you find a safe place to enjoy the sun, sand and sea in the summer.

For those after more detailed advice on sea safety, we've also created some specialist sessions that provide in-depth guidance and cover a range of safety topics.

Don't be a statistic

8,239 lifeboat launches in 2020

The sea surface from under the water
Know the risks
It's easier than you think to get into trouble at the coast. Get to grips with the common risk factors and find out how to minimise them. 
The risk factors
Kitesurfer in Poole Harbour
Choose your activity
Our safety advice covers a broad range of water activities to help keep you safe at the coast.
Get advice
Lifeguards at Mawgan Porth beach, Cornwall.
Beach safety
Before you head to the beach, have a look at our advice and tips to help you have fun and stay safe. 
Stay safe
Safety advice session on motorboat
What we can do for you
You can count on the RNLI in an emergency. But we can help you avoid getting into trouble in the first place too. Take advantage of our free safety advice.
find out more
A variety of lifejackets and buoyancy aids piled up on a beach
Lifejackets
Choosing the right lifejacket or buoyancy aid for your activity can be difficult. With many different options to choose from and technical language that can be confusing, you might end up using something unsuitable, or worse, not using one at all.
Find out more
Beacons or devices? How to call for help
How to call for help at sea
Do you know who to call in an emergency? Do you have the right equipment? Whether you’re at the coast, on the water, or further out to sea, we have everything you need to know so you can call for help in an emergency.
Find out more
Full clothed man floating in a star shape in dark sea water
Respect the Water
If you got into trouble in the water, would you know what to do? What about if it was someone you care about in danger? Find out how to keep you and your loved ones safe with the RNLI.
Find out more
Children taking part in Swim Safe with the RNLI and Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)
Swim Safe
Find out about free summer Swim Safe sessions for children aged 7-14 years with the RNLI and ASA.
Learn more
A face-to-face team member sharing safety advice and fundraising in Cornwall.
Multi-lingual resources
Language shouldn’t be a barrier to getting our safety messages out to the diverse communities across the UK and Ireland. Here are some translated safety resources, to reach as many people as we can in our mission to save lives at sea.
View Translated Resources