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Sea/beach safety on the Yorkshire Coast


12:00am 16th April 2011

There's concern over kids safety this Easter as families head to the North Yorkshire coast.

With school children already on their Easter break, and the UK looking forward to a succession of bank holidays, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is offering some important beach and sea safety tips for anyone planning a trip to the coast during the next few weeks.

The Easter and May Day bank holidays are often the first chance of the year for many people to make a trip to the coast, either to go afloat or spend time on the beach, particularly if the weather is fine.

With Easter falling later than usual this year, closely followed by the Royal Wedding and May Day bank holidays, the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards are preparing themselves for a busy couple of weeks.

Over the Easter and May Day weekends last year, the RNLI's lifeboats launched 126 times to leisure boating incidents, rescuing 178 people, while the charity's lifeguards responded to 102 incidents and helped 120 people on some of the UK's busiest beaches.

The RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crews are on-call 24/7, ready to launch and rescue those in danger at sea, while three beaches in the north of England are being patrolled by the charity's lifeguards over the Easter, Royal Wedding and May Day bank holidays.

For those going out to sea, the RNLI's top sea safety tips are:

1. Wear a lifejacket
2. Get relevant training
3. Carry a means of calling for help
4. Check engine and fuel
5. Tell others where you are going
6. Check weather and tides

For those heading to the beach, the RNLI's top five beach safety tips are:

1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
3. Check tide times before you go
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Peter Chennell, RNLI Sea Safety Manager, said:

"Last year over half of RNLI lifeboat launches were to pleasure craft and we're offering boaters some simple sea safety advice so that they can enjoy their first trip afloat of 2011.

"Don't let mishaps ruin your day! Check your boat, service the engine and carry spares. But accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced, so make sure you have a means of calling for help and ensure your lifejacket and its gas bottles are in good condition."

Ross Macleod, RNLI Beach Safety Programmes Manager, added:

"For those planning a trip to the beach, the RNLI's advice is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards.

"For anyone who can't get to a lifeguarded beach, there are some straightforward steps people can take to help keep themselves out of danger. They can find out about their chosen beach before they visit, check the weather and tide times, and follow the advice shown on safety signs at the beach entrance. By following this basic advice, we hope people will have a great time but stay safe as well."

For more information visit www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety or www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety 

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, visit www.goodbeachguide.co.uk.

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