Hello! Our aim at the RNLI is to always put life first. You’ll be pleased to hear that our lifeboat crews will be looking out for your safety while you have your well-deserved break at the beach. You might be lucky enough to have RNLI lifeguards right there with you too. You can find out more about our lifesavers in this booklet and read about a couple of real-life rescues – but mostly this guide is about making your day at the seaside even more enjoyable. It’s full of hints and tips from us and our friends at the Eden Project to help you put life first too. For more information on beach safety visit: rnli.org.uk/beachsafety. Enjoy! From the BBC’s Seaside rescue, narrator Caroline Quentin says: ‘As a mother to two children, I always consider safety when visiting a beach and whenever possible go to a lifeguard patrolled beach. Having RNLI lifeguards nearby is reassuring. We can get on with our fun, knowing they are on hand just in case we need to ask for advice, help with first aid or even missing children. And should there be a real emergency, you know that with their professional training, fitness and above all courage, they will be there for you. I would urge people to take a moment to read this invaluable guide from the RNLI.’
Do you have a favourite beach or are you looking for somewhere new? How do you choose? Most people consider the: ease of transport/parking toilets sand or stones cleanliness access to fresh water/showers refreshment facilities attractions nearby. The seaside isn’t most people’s usual environment so it’s easy to miss some of its hazards. Try and plan for the following points too before you set out and look for the safety signs when you get to your beach:
ON THE BEACH
high and low tides – will the beach be there?! sharp objects/litter hidden in the sand slippery rocks/big drops from cliffs and harbour walls.
AND IN THE WATER
rip currents/dumping waves – they could drag you out of your depth jellyfish and weeverfish, which can sting offshore winds – don’t get blown out to sea man-made structures like piers and groynes other water users – swimmers don’t mix well with powerboats!
Most of all, try to choose a lifeguarded beach. To find your nearest, go online and visit: www.goodbeachguide.co.uk
In this guide you will see two types of warning symbol: this is a hazard to watch out for – take care! this is a prohibition sign – don’t do it! DON’T FORGET TO READ THE SAFETY SIGNS
Carolyne Yard will never forget her holiday in June 2007 ‘It was our last day and I was relaxing on the beach with my daughter and friend Mark. My sons, Angus and Will, were swimming in the sea. But Mark noticed that the boys had been swept towards some rocks, and they started shouting for help. They’re big teenagers who don’t usually call for their mum so I knew something was seriously wrong. ‘They were caught in a strong rip current, and they couldn’t swim back to shore. The water was like a whirlpool. They were so close, and yet in so much trouble. ‘Mark and a surfer called Mike got in the water to help while I dialled 999 for the Coastguard on my mobile phone. They called the RNLI lifeguards from the neighbouring beach. It only took minutes for the rescue boat to arrive, but when you think your boys are going to drown, it seems to take a lifetime. I lost sight of them, which was terrifying. ‘One of the lifeguards, Bernadette, jumped into the water. Mike had helped Angus to get to one side of the current, and Bernadette helped them both up onto a rock. Then she guided Mark and Will out of the current and between the rocks. ‘Angus and Will were shaking with shock. I was crying, and just so relieved that we were all back together safely. It still makes me cry when I think about it. ‘I’ll certainly always go to a lifeguard-patrolled beach in future, and I know the boys will too. I will be eternally grateful to...