Holidays water warning

A new campaign by the RNLI shows the summer holidays are the busiest time for emergencies.
A new campaign by the RNLI shows the summer holidays are the busiest time for emergencies.

With summer holidays well underway, the RNLI is urging Bridlington residents – and visitors to the town – to ‘Respect the Water’.

The organisation has released figures which show this is the busiest time of year for incidents at the coast in this area, with the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards in the region responding to most emergencies during the summer months.

Latest research from the charity shows less than one-fifth of people in the north say they would call 999 immediately to request help if they saw someone fall into open water.

With this statistic in mind, the charity is reminding people to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard in the event of an emergency.

As part of the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign, called Respect the Water, the charity is calling on the public to help save more lives during this busy period by remembering and sharing key survival skills.

Ben Mitchell, RNLI community safety partner for the North, said: “With summer holidays upon us and hopefully some hot weather, our fantastic beaches are naturally a draw for many people – but sadly this also means more people tragically losing their lives or getting into serious danger at the coast.

“We need to start a national conversation that encourages people to fight their instincts around water, so we are asking people to remember and share two skills.

“The first is, if you see someone else in trouble, don’t go into the water yourself as you may also end up in serious danger. Instead, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“The second is, if you fall into cold water, fight your instincts to swim hard or thrash about as this could lead to drowning.

“Instead, relax and float on your back, keeping your airway clear, for around 60 to 90 seconds.

“This will allow the effects of cold water shock to pass so you can regain control of your breathing and then swim to safety or call for help.

“Just remembering these two simple points could help save your life, or someone else’s, this summer.”

Last July and August, the charity’s lifeboat crews in the north of England launched their lifeboats in response to 321 emergencies (158 and 163 respectively), nearly one-third (31%) of their total call-outs for the year.

Meanwhile, RNLI lifeguards in the region responded to 2,046 incidents on beaches during July and August (686 and 1,360 respectively), 79% of their total annual incidents.