With 30 million people planning to hit the UK coast this summer, the RNLI in Wales and HM Coastguard have launched a campaign urging people to choose lifeguarded beaches and follow key summer safety advice.
RLNI Lifeguards returned to Rest Bay beach last weekend (29 May) meaning that the following local beaches now have daily lifeguard patrols between 10am-6pm right through to 5 September: Trecco Bay, Sandy Bay (Coney Beach) and Rest Bay.
The patrols are jointly funded by Bridgend County Borough Council and Parkdean Resorts, with the RNLI covering additional costs through their national and local fundraising activity.
The key summer safety advice is:
- Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
- If you get into trouble Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about
- Call 999 or 112 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard
Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead in Wales, said:
“We are expecting this summer to be the busiest ever for our lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews in Wales and our survey figures back that up. With its stunning scenery and spectacular beaches, we are certain people will flock to the Welsh coastline and want people to enjoy it. We do however urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.
“Our main advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble.
“Whether you’re at a lifeguarded beach or not, look out for safety signage and seek advice on safe places to swim, keep your children under supervision at all times, avoid swimming alone where possible and know to alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for Coastguard in an emergency.
“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but they can be an unpredictable environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up but water temperatures remain very cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock.”
Bridgend Council Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “With high numbers of visitors coming to enjoy the coastline around Porthcawl every summer and many more people choosing to ‘staycation’ this year, it’s important to be aware of the risks on the coast and follow the safety advice to stay out of trouble.”