Supported by Caroline Quentin

Television actress Caroline Quentin is lending support to the RNLI’s Beach Safety campaign 2008.

The charity is launching a new guide to beach safety on Wednesday March 19.

Caroline Quentin says: “As a mother of two children who love going in the water, I always consider safety when visiting a beach and, whenever possible, go to a lifeguard-patrolled beach.

“Having RNLI lifeguards nearby is so reassuring because the charity ensures they are trained to the highest standards and have the best possible equipment to do their job which, ultimately, could be saving someone’s life.

“The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and the advice in its new Guide to Beach Safety is invaluable – it will take just a few minutes to read and it could be enough to prevent a day of fun ending in tragedy.”

Bodyboarding accounted for 26.7% of the major activity-related incidents RNLI lifeguards attended last year.

Other activities resulting in major incidents included swimming (19.4%), surfing (19.2%) and using inflatables (7.7%).

Rip currents and strong offshore winds were the most significant environmental causes of incidents, accounting for 44.7% and 13.7% respectively.

Key safety topics covered in the guide include:
· Understanding beach safety flags
· Staying safe while swimming, surfing or bodyboarding
· Using inflatables safely
· What to do if caught in a rip current
· Treating jellyfish or weeverfish stings

RNLI Head of Prevention and Lifeguards, Peter Dawes, says: “The charity’s aim is to save lives at sea, and beach safety education is crucial to achieving that.

“The RNLI advises people to swim at a lifeguarded beach.

“When people are enjoying themselves at the beach, it is all too easy to forget that the sea can be very dangerous.

“We understand it is not always possible for people to get to a lifeguarded beach. If this is the case, it is even more important that people know how to spot potential dangers and avoid them.”

The RNLI’s On The Beach guide is available for free by emailing beachsafety@rnli.org.uk or calling 0800 328 0600.

Copies are also available from most RNLI lifeboat stations, RNLI lifeguards, Tourist Information Centres, service stations, Little Chef restaurants and selected tourist attractions.

Identify your nearest lifeguarded beach at www.goodbeachguide.co.uk

www.rnli.org.uk