RNLI’s beach safety warning for families ahead of the summer holidays

Families are being asked to be careful while at the coast during the school holidays.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 11:50 am
RNLI’s Nick Ayers said people should always visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. Photo courtesy of the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard issued the warning as new figures show RNLI lifeguards saved the lives of 54 children and teenagers last summer.

Of those lives saved, 64% (35) were aged 12 or under, while RNLI lifeguards also came to the aid of another 12,344 under-18s between June and September 2020.

The RNLI and Coastguard are reminding families to be aware of the risks, and have launched a new animated TV advert to help young children understand how to stay safe at the coast.

The RNLI sees a big increase in the number of incidents in the sea involving children and teenagers during the school summer holidays and urge everyone – but families in particular – to be aware of the risks and know what to do in an emergency.

Summer safety advice from the RNLI includes:

○ Visit a lifeguarded beach and 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

RNLI Water Safety Lead Nick Ayers said: “All of these people did the right thing by choosing to visit a lifeguarded beach and because of that, RNLI lifeguards were able to use their skills and training to safely rescue those in danger.

“If you find yourself in trouble at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“Always 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.

“Children should be supervised at all times and people of all ages should avoid swimming alone.

“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.”

○ Go to rnli.org/youth-education to see the video which is aimed at young people.