RNLI campaign advises against going it alone

The RNLI is launching a beach-safety campaign in the south west to encourage everyone to swim at lifeguarded beaches.

Barry Heathfield, RNLI Area Lifeguard Manager for Dorset, said: “RNLI Lifeguards in Dorset patrol beaches at Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and West Dorset and we’re here to help make sure everyone has a safe time at the beach – lifeguards in Dorset have so far this season dealt with 421 incidents.

“The incidents range from people swimming out of their depth and jumping off piers to lost children. These dangers are common to beaches around the country and as lifeguards we’re here to help people before they get into trouble in the first place.

“I’d recommend that anyone planning to swim at the beach makes sure that they visit one with lifeguards – this is a really important point. RNLI lifeguards are here on the local beaches every day, 10am to 6pm, until the end of summer – and there are also over 300 beaches around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland that also have lifeguards so if people are planning trips to other parts of the country, they can check out our website for more details.”

The website is www.rnli.org.uk/beachwise

Steve Wills, RNLI’s Beach Safety Manager, added: “People are 500 times less likely to drown at a lifeguarded beach than at a beach without lifeguards, and Beachwise is a national campaign that addresses this by encouraging the public to only swim at lifeguarded beaches.

“Research shows that only 10% of beach-goers consider safety when visiting the seaside – we hope to increase this percentage by running the Beachwise advertising campaign throughout the summer holidays, specifically targeting families in an effort to increase awareness of staying safe at the beach.”