RNLI-lifeboat-crews-and-lifeguards-brace-for-busiest-weekend-of-the-year

Byline: RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards brace for busiest weekend of the year
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Volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are preparing themselves for what is traditionally their busiest weekend of rescues during the year as holidaymakers flock to the coast.

On a typical August bank holiday weekend, the lifesaving charity’s lifeboat crews expect to launch around 250 times and rescue at least that many people, while RNLI lifeguards usually respond to over 600 incidents on some of the UK’s busiest beaches, again helping at least that many people.

That’s why the charity is today releasing rescue statistics from previous summer bank holidays to highlight the importance of taking safety seriously when visiting the coast.

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 the charity’s lifeguards respond to 2,035 incidents and help 2,583 people*.

Last year alone over the August bank holiday, the RNLI’s volunteer crews launched 254 times, rescuing 273 people. Over the same period, the charity’s lifeguards responded to 603 incidents and helped 694 people at the beach.

The charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards are used to being busy over the August bank holiday as the coast is a popular choice for people making the most of the extended break. This year, with more people likely to be holidaying in the UK, there is every chance they will be even busier, which is why the charity wants to ensure people visiting the coast are aware of the potential hazards when using the sea, so they can try to keep themselves safe.

Steve Wills, RNLI Beach Safety Manager, says:

‘This bank holiday, especially if the weather is good, we fully expect to see lots of people making their way to the coast. 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 advice aims to help prevent incidents from happening in the first place but, should anyone find themselves in trouble in the water, the RNLI’s volunteer crews and lifeguards will be ready to respond. There are 235 RNLI lifeboat stations around the coasts of the UK and Republic or Ireland, and 142 RNLI lifeguarded beaches around the coasts of the UK. The lifeguards operate beach patrols between 10am and 6pm, while the volunteer crews are on-call 24/7 to respond to emergencies at sea.

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  

Six RNLI Sea Safety tips: remember IT’S WET:

  1. Inform – tell others where you’re going 
  2. Training – knowledge of your activity is essential 
  3. SOS device – carry a means of calling for help 
  4. Wear a lifejacket – a life statement, not a fashion statement – wear it 
  5. Engine and fuel – have you sufficient fuel and spares? 
  6. Tides and weather – check the conditions before heading out

For more information, visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety

Notes to editors 

  • * Source: RNLI rescue statistics 2006-2008. August bank holiday figures cover Friday to Monday inclusive. 
  • A photo of an RNLI lifeboat and RNLI lifeguard is attached. Please credit RNLI. 
  • RNLI spokespeople are available for interview or comment. Please contact RNLI Public Relations on the numbers below. 
  • There are over 300 lifeguarded beaches around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland. This year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling 142 beaches around the coast of the UK. To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, visit www.goodbeachguide.co.uk.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer – 01202 663181 / lfennimore@rnli.org.uk  

Katie Wilton, RNLI Public Relations Officer – 01202 663127 / kwilton@rnli.org.uk  

RNLI Public Relations Office – 01202 336789 / pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

Byline: RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards brace for busiest weekend of the year
Page Content:

Volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are preparing themselves for what is traditionally their busiest weekend of rescues during the year as holidaymakers flock to the coast.

On a typical August bank holiday weekend, the lifesaving charity’s lifeboat crews expect to launch around 250 times and rescue at least that many people, while RNLI lifeguards usually respond to over 600 incidents on some of the UK’s busiest beaches, again helping at least that many people.

That’s why the charity is today releasing rescue statistics from previous summer bank holidays to highlight the importance of taking safety seriously when visiting the coast.

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 the charity’s lifeguards respond to 2,035 incidents and help 2,583 people*.

Last year alone over the August bank holiday, the RNLI’s volunteer crews launched 254 times, rescuing 273 people. Over the same period, the charity’s lifeguards responded to 603 incidents and helped 694 people at the beach.

The charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards are used to being busy over the August bank holiday as the coast is a popular choice for people making the most of the extended break. This year, with more people likely to be holidaying in the UK, there is every chance they will be even busier, which is why the charity wants to ensure people visiting the coast are aware of the potential hazards when using the sea, so they can try to keep themselves safe.

Steve Wills, RNLI Beach Safety Manager, says:

‘This bank holiday, especially if the weather is good, we fully expect to see lots of people making their way to the coast. 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 advice aims to help prevent incidents from happening in the first place but, should anyone find themselves in trouble in the water, the RNLI’s volunteer crews and lifeguards will be ready to respond. There are 235 RNLI lifeboat stations around the coasts of the UK and Republic or Ireland, and 142 RNLI lifeguarded beaches around the coasts of the UK. The lifeguards operate beach patrols between 10am and 6pm, while the volunteer crews are on-call 24/7 to respond to emergencies at sea.

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  

Six RNLI Sea Safety tips: remember IT’S WET:

  1. Inform – tell others where you’re going 
  2. Training – knowledge of your activity is essential 
  3. SOS device – carry a means of calling for help 
  4. Wear a lifejacket – a life statement, not a fashion statement - wear it 
  5. Engine and fuel – have you sufficient fuel and spares? 
  6. Tides and weather – check the conditions before heading out

For more information, visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety

Notes to editors 

  • * Source: RNLI rescue statistics 2006-2008. August bank holiday figures cover Friday to Monday inclusive. 
  • A photo of an RNLI lifeboat and RNLI lifeguard is attached. Please credit RNLI. 
  • RNLI spokespeople are available for interview or comment. Please contact RNLI Public Relations on the numbers below. 
  • There are over 300 lifeguarded beaches around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland. This year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling 142 beaches around the coast of the UK. To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, visit www.goodbeachguide.co.uk.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer – 01202 663181 / lfennimore@rnli.org.uk  

Katie Wilton, RNLI Public Relations Officer – 01202 663127 / kwilton@rnli.org.uk  

RNLI Public Relations Office – 01202 336789 / pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.