The RNLI will be working the Bank Holiday
The RNLI have prepared a checklist for sea and beach-goers this coming August Bank Holiday, which is traditionally the charity’s busiest time.
The August bank holiday weekends of the past three years have seen the RNLI‘s volunteer lifeboat crews launch 736 times and rescue 871 people, and lifeguards respond to 2,035 incidents and help 2,583 people.
Last year alone over the August bank holiday, RNLI crews launched 254 times, rescuing 273 people.
This year, with more people likely to be holidaying in the UK, they anticipate the statistics could be higher still.
Steve Wills, RNLI Beach Safety Manager, says: “Sadly, there have been a number of fatalities and serious incidents around the coast already this summer, so we hope people will take notice of our advice so they can have fun but stay safe at the same time.
“Beach-goers, particularly those planning to use the water, should choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
“Those who can’t get to a lifeguarded beach should find out about their chosen beach before they go – check the weather and tide times and take notice of the safety signs at the beach entrance.
“Children should be supervised at all times, especially when in or near the water.
“Anyone who starts to struggle in the water should stick their hand in the air and shout for help. If they see someone else in trouble, they should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard, but should not attempt a rescue themselves.’
Peter Chennell, RNLI Sea Safety Manager, says: “Our advice is not meant to spoil the fun of water users, but it is founded on the years of experience of RNLI lifeboat crews, who know how unpredictable the weather can be and how quickly things can go wrong at sea.
“We always recommend that those going boating or enjoying other watersports activities make sure they follow our sea safety tips.
“In particular, we advise that all who go afloat wear a well-fitted lifejacket and know how to operate it should an emergency situation unfold, because a lifejacket is useless unless worn, if it is worn incorrectly or if it is not in full working order.”
The RNLI’s top five beach safety tips:
1. Always swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
3. Check times of high and low tide before you go – to avoid getting stranded
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
For more information, visit www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety
And just for good measure, six RNLI Sea Safety tips too:
Inform – tell others where you’re going
Training – knowledge of your activity is essential
SOS device – carry a means of calling for help
Wear a lifejacket – a life statement, not a fashion statement – wear it
Engine and fuel – have you sufficient fuel and spares?
Tides and weather – check the conditions before heading out
For more information, visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety