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RESPECT THE WATER: Calls for beach goers to be cautious as little girl swept out to sea

 

Emergency services across the UK are urging people to “respect the water” as the weather heats up. 

With warm weather comes the temptation to cool off in lakes, rivers, quarries and the sea. But people are being urged to take care and to respect the water, remembering that your fortunes can turn as quickly as the tide.

The Bank Holiday weekend was incredibly busy for the RNLI up and down our coasts, as people found themselves in danger. In North Wales, a little girl was rescued by the RNLI after her dinghy drifted out to sea off Kinmel Bay in Wales on Bank Holiday Monday.

In a survey commissioned by the RNLI, 75% of those questioned - aged 16-64 - expect to visit a UK beach or the coast between April and September, with around half of that number likely to do so three or more times. A significantly higher proportion of the public (36%) also said they plan to visit the coast more than usual this year, compared to 2020 (24%).

Last summer, RNLI lifeguards recorded more than 15M visitors on the beaches the lifesaving charity was patrolling on.

But with continued uncertainty over foreign holidays and international travel, the RNLI is predicting this summer will be the busiest ever as Covid restrictions are eased and people choose to ‘staycation’.

The RNLI and HM Coastguard are launching a new safety campaign, urging everyone to choose lifeguarded beaches when they visit the coast.

‘We are expecting this summer to be the busiest ever for our lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews,’ said the RNLI’s Head of Water Safety Gareth Morrison. ‘These new figures back that up.

‘We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.

‘Our main advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble.

‘Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but they can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock.’

The key summer safety advice is:

 

  • Visit a lifeguarded beach & swim between the red and yellow flags
  • If you get into trouble Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about
  • Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard

 

Video from PA, RNLI

 

 


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