28 May 2021

Beach safety campaign launched ahead of busy Bank Holiday weekend

Beach safety campaign launched ahead of busy Bank Holiday weekend

A BEACH safety campaign has been launched as the RNLI’s crews prepare for a busy summer.

The RNLI and HM Coastguard have launched the campaign as a new study reveals around 30 million people plan to visit the UK coast this summer.

In the survey commissioned by the RNLI, 75% of those questioned expect to visit a beach between April and September due to the ongoing uncertainty around foreign holidays and international travel.

In the south west, businesses are gearing up for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region in July and August, bringing £3.5 billion into the local economy. 

Steve Instance, RNLI’s water safety lead for the south west said: “Last summer, RNLI lifeguards patrolling beaches across the south west recorded nearly 9 million visitors.

“We know the south west is a popular destination for those holidaying at home and with many accommodation providers reporting being at capacity for the summer, we are expecting this year to be the busiest ever. 

“These new figures back that up. We want people to enjoy the region’s spectacular coastline abut urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.”

RNLI lifeguards will once again be on duty at Lyme’s Front Beach for the peak season.

The key summer safety advice is:

  • Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
  • If you get into trouble remember: Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about 
  • Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard 

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard, said: “2020 was an exceptionally busy year and we’re expecting more people to take their holidays around our wonderful coasts this summer. 

“We’re asking everyone to follow a few simple safety tips, so the trip is memorable for all the right reasons. 

“Before setting out, take a minute to check the weather, tides and winds to help avoid getting caught out.   

“Leave inflatables at home as they are designed for the pool, not open water, where the wind and current can very quickly take you out to sea and into danger. 

“Recreational watersports such as paddleboarding are now incredibly popular and we’d encourage everyone to make it a fun rather than frightening experience.  

“It pays to prepare and taking a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch when you set out for a paddle will mean you can call for help if needed. 

“If you or someone else is in trouble, always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’ 

For further information on the beach safety campaign visit RNLI.org/BeachUK2021

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches