It’s summer holiday time and if you’re a water baby then you’ll almost certainly be heading for the beach. With the numbers of seaside rescues on the rise, we thought we’d get in touch with the good folk at the RNLI and find out some simple ways to stay safe, and we’ll bring you a new tip each week over the holiday period.
So for part one of our ‘Beach basics’ series, we ask… if there aren’t any lifeguards at my local beach, does that mean I can’t swim?
Laura Fennimore from the RNLI says…
“The RNLI advises anyone planning a trip to the beach – particularly those planning to use the water – to always swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards. You’re 500 times less likely to drown at a lifeguarded beach, as the lifeguards offer advice to try and prevent incidents from happening in the first place. And if someone does get in trouble in the water, they are ready to respond at a moment’s notice – if you’re struggling in the water, seconds count, so having highly-trained, professional lifesavers close by greatly increases your chances of survival.
If you can’t get to a lifeguarded beach, there are some basic steps you can take to try and keep yourself safe:
· Read local safety signage at the entrance to the beach – it will highlight any hazards specific to the area
· Check weather and tide times before you go
· Never swim alone
· If you get in trouble in the water, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
· If you see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
The RNLI’s guide to beach safety, On The Beach, is packed full of advice on how to stay safe at the beach. It is available free-of-charge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 328 0600.