The RNLI and HM Coastguard have launched a water safety campaign as figures show 85% of UK adults expect to head to the beach this summer.
With a recent survey revealing 35 million people are planning to visit UK coastal regions this summer, the charity’s lifesavers are expecting a busy summer ahead.
In a survey commissioned by the RNLI, 85% of the UK adult population (aged 16-64) expect to visit the UK coast or use the beach or sea between now and the end of September, this is up from 75% this time last year. 42% expect to go three times or more.
Ahead of the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend and half-term holidays, the RNLI with the support of HM Coastguard is launching a water safety campaign, urging everyone to remember that if you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. To do this:
- Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat.
- Control your breathing,
- then call for help or swim to safety.
- In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.
There were 277 deaths in the UK from accidental drownings in 2021, across inland and coastal locations, an increase of 23 from the previous year. 40% of people who died had no intention of entering the water, such as those walking, with causes including slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves.
Nick Ayers, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, North East and East said:
‘We are expecting the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend and the half-term holidays to be incredibly busy at the coast. We want everyone to enjoy their trip but we also want to make sure people stay safe and know what to do in an emergency.
‘It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risks of the environment. It can be very unpredictable, particularly during early summer when the risk of cold water shock significantly increases, as air temperatures warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold.
‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.’
The RNLI is also reminding people to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags this summer.
‘As the coast is getting busier now that the warmer weather is here, we’d also like to remind people to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. It’s important to remember to swim between those flags because lifeguards put them on the safest stretch of water and patrol this area.’
For further information on the water safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/FloatUK2022
A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches