So, if you're heading for one of our beautiful beaches this summer, the RNLI offers the following advice for keeping safe:
- Wherever possible, swim at a lifeguarded beach.
- Always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach. These will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming.
- When on a lifeguarded beach, find the red and yellow flags and always swim or bodyboard between them – this area is patrolled by lifeguards.
- Never swim alone.
- Be careful not to get cut off by the tide when walking along the shore.
- Wherever possible, surf at a lifeguarded beach and follow the advice of the lifeguards.
- Inflatable toys are great fun in pools, but we strongly advise against using them in the sea, as there is a high chance of being swept out.
- If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
- If you see someone in difficulty, don't attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
- If you are hiring equipment for a surfsport, try to do so from a member of the Surf Hire Safety Scheme. Scheme members check equipment regularly for damage, rent out equipment suitable to your ability and offer safety advice for the local area.
Have a look for yourself at the number of launches listed on the RNLI website here. Also, as they rely heavily on public donations, feel free to click the 'donate' button too! :)