RNLI-lifeguards-urge-beachgoers-to-stay-safe-this-summer-following-fatal-incidents-around-the-UK

Byline: RNLI lifeguards urge beachgoers to stay safe this summer following fatal incidents around the UK
Page Content:

As the summer holidays approach and many school leavers will be heading to the coast to celebrate the end of exams, RNLI lifeguards are warning people of the potential dangers at the beach.

Every year there are around 100 coastal drownings in the UK. There are more than 330 lifeguarded beaches in the UK and RoI of which 140 are operated by the RNLI lifeguards who are on duty between 10am and 6pm seven days a week during the summer season. Last year the RNLI lifeguard service attended over 9,500 incidents aiding over 11,000 people.

Beach safety Manager Steve Wills says: ‘Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the people who have recently lost their lives along the UK coastlines. We always aim to encourage people to swim at lifeguard-patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags whether at home or on holiday, here or abroad. We are urging people to take notice of beach safety advice in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again this summer.’

The majority of fatal incidents that have occurred this year have happened ‘out of hours’ when people have decided to swim after 6pm or at non-lifeguarded beaches or when people have consumed alcohol. Swimming under the influence of alcohol is never advised and it is important to bare in mind that although the sea may look calm this is not always the case.

Steve added: ‘We are lucky enough to have many great beaches around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland. However, many of the hazards in the sea are ‘invisible’, such as rip currents and off shore winds. Lifeguards look out for you in and out of the water. The majority of their work is preventative and they’re trained to spot hazards and warn you before you even enter the sea.’

If you are enjoying the beach early in the morning or after 6pm at night when lifeguards are off duty, please take your own safety seriously. Visit www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety or get a copy of The RNLI’s guide to beach safety, which is available free-of-charge by emailing beachsafety@rnli.org.uk or calling 0800 328 0600, before you go on holiday – it could save your life or the lives of those on holiday with you.

The RNLI would also like to warn people of the potential dangers of activities such as tombstoning. Tombstoning is a high-risk activity, and can be dangerous for a number of reasons including Water depth, Submerged objects and strong currents. The RNLI does not wish to spoil anyone’s fun but advises people to following the advice below if you are planning activities such as these.

  • Check for hazards in the water. Rocks or submerged objects under the sea may not be visible through the surface 
  • Check the depth of the water. Remember tides can rise or fall very quickly – it may start off deep enough but can quickly become shallower
  • As a rule of thumb, a jump of ten metres requires a depth of at least five metres.
  • Never jump while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure
  • Consider the risk to others. Conditions can change rapidly so remember young people could be watching and attempt to mimic the activity 
  • Check for access, it may be impossible to get out of the water
Byline: RNLI lifeguards urge beachgoers to stay safe this summer following fatal incidents around the UK
Page Content:

As the summer holidays approach and many school leavers will be heading to the coast to celebrate the end of exams, RNLI lifeguards are warning people of the potential dangers at the beach.

Every year there are around 100 coastal drownings in the UK. There are more than 330 lifeguarded beaches in the UK and RoI of which 140 are operated by the RNLI lifeguards who are on duty between 10am and 6pm seven days a week during the summer season. Last year the RNLI lifeguard service attended over 9,500 incidents aiding over 11,000 people.

Beach safety Manager Steve Wills says: ‘Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the people who have recently lost their lives along the UK coastlines. We always aim to encourage people to swim at lifeguard-patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags whether at home or on holiday, here or abroad. We are urging people to take notice of beach safety advice in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again this summer.’

The majority of fatal incidents that have occurred this year have happened ‘out of hours’ when people have decided to swim after 6pm or at non-lifeguarded beaches or when people have consumed alcohol. Swimming under the influence of alcohol is never advised and it is important to bare in mind that although the sea may look calm this is not always the case.

Steve added: ‘We are lucky enough to have many great beaches around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland. However, many of the hazards in the sea are ‘invisible’, such as rip currents and off shore winds. Lifeguards look out for you in and out of the water. The majority of their work is preventative and they’re trained to spot hazards and warn you before you even enter the sea.'

If you are enjoying the beach early in the morning or after 6pm at night when lifeguards are off duty, please take your own safety seriously. Visit www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety or get a copy of The RNLI’s guide to beach safety, which is available free-of-charge by emailing beachsafety@rnli.org.uk or calling 0800 328 0600, before you go on holiday – it could save your life or the lives of those on holiday with you.

The RNLI would also like to warn people of the potential dangers of activities such as tombstoning. Tombstoning is a high-risk activity, and can be dangerous for a number of reasons including Water depth, Submerged objects and strong currents. The RNLI does not wish to spoil anyone’s fun but advises people to following the advice below if you are planning activities such as these.

  • Check for hazards in the water. Rocks or submerged objects under the sea may not be visible through the surface 
  • Check the depth of the water. Remember tides can rise or fall very quickly – it may start off deep enough but can quickly become shallower
  • As a rule of thumb, a jump of ten metres requires a depth of at least five metres.
  • Never jump while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure
  • Consider the risk to others. Conditions can change rapidly so remember young people could be watching and attempt to mimic the activity 
  • Check for access, it may be impossible to get out of the water