Lifeguards return to more beaches

Friday 3rd July 2020 8:03 am
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Lifeguards are returning to five more local beaches this weekend.

RNLI lifeguards will return to 12 beaches in Wales tomorrow (Saturday), including the beaches at Borth, Llangrannog, Tresaith, Aberporth and Aberystwyth South.

It coincides with the launch today of the RNLI and HM Coastguard’s new beach safety campaign in Wales, urging parents to protect their families by following key safety advice.

With previously announced changes by the Welsh Government coming into effect on Monday, It is important that any trip to the beach this summer is met with caution and the message from the RNLI is clear; always follow Welsh Government advice and keep yourself and your family safe.

RNLI lifeguards resumed patrols on 14 beaches in Wales last month, and the charity will return to a further 12 beaches from tomorrow. This will take the total number of RNLI lifeguarded beaches in Wales to 26 in time for the summer peak season.

On Welsh beaches in 2019, RNLI lifeguards aided 4801 people in 1850 incidents, saving a total of 39 lives.

RNLI lifesaving manager for Wales, Matt Crofts, said: “As changes to the Welsh Government restrictions come into effect from Monday, more people are expected to visit the coast to exercise and take part in water-based activities.

"The first few weeks of having lifeguards back on Welsh beaches has helped the RNLI properly test new ways of operating put in place to manage the risks of coronavirus and have allowed us to accelerate and expand our plans here in Wales this summer.”

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard, said: “We know from sad experience that whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability of experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does. Now, more than ever we need people to respect the sea and the coast.

“If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid. But coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Wales, said: "It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the hazards of the environment and you must take more responsibility for you and your family this summer.”

The RNLI and HM Coastguard are advising the public not to use inflatables at all and for everyone, especially parents, planning a visit to a beach or the coast to follow this safety advice:

If you can, visit a lifeguarded beach. But wherever you are;

• Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

• Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water

• Don’t allow your family to swim alone

• Don’t use inflatables

• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, Float To Live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float

• In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

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