The organisation is warning people about deadly rip currents
With the school summer holidays now in full swing, and many families choosing to staycation in the South West, the RNLI and HM Coastguard are urging every parent to be aware of the potential dangers when visiting the coast.
The RNLI always recommends visiting a lifeguarded beach and staying between the red and yellow flagged area, which is most closely monitored by lifeguards.
Last year, lifeguards dealt with more than 1,500 incidents involving rip currents, saving the lives of 95 people caught in them.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following key safety advice:
- Don't try to swim against it, you will quickly get exhausted
- If you can stand, wade don't swim
- If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore
- If you can't swim - FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing
- Always raise your hand and shout for help
- If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
Rip currents are not the only danger at the coast. Tidal cut-offs and inflatables also the cause of many emergency calls. The RNLI and HM Coastguard strongly advise against taking inflatables to the beach and urge people to be aware of the tide times and local hazards to avoid getting into trouble.
A full list of lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches