Hot tips for Bank Holiday Safety
With amazing weather forecast for many parts of the UK this weekend, we're encouraging everyone planning a trip to the coast to follow our 'top 10 hot tips for safety' and take home only happy memories.
'Warm weather is forecast for much of the country this weekend and whatever the weather, the Bank Holiday is when many people quite rightly want to make the most of our wonderful coastline and beaches,' said Bev Allen, Maritime Operations Controller, HM Coastguard.
Beaches, cliffs, rivers and the sea can be a dangerous places even when the weather is great.
'We respond to 999 calls round the clock, every day of the year and so many unhappy incidents could be avoided by taking some of the simple precautions outlined on our blog. This summer, in particular we've had lots of cases of children blown out to sea on inflatables and our clear message is keep inflatables for fun in the pool as they can be a big risk to life on the beach,' she added.
OUR 10 HOT SAFETY TIPS
- Jumping: Jumping into the water from piers, rocks, cliffs or other structures can be really dangerous. You never know what’s beneath the surface and tide times and currents will rapidly transform a deep pool into a shallow puddle.
- Look for the lifeguards: Choose beaches where lifeguards are on duty and take note of their advice, especially when you want to enjoy a swim.
- Chilly water? The shock of cold water can slow your body’s responses, even for strong swimmers and strong currents can quickly sweep you away.
- Sea shore: Do swim parallel to the shore and avoid most harbours and fast-flowing water
- Don't get carried away: Inflatables are not suitable for use in the sea and they can go from fun to potentially deadly in minutes, so best save them for swimming pools. Tide conditions, the wind and any changes in the weather can very quickly sweep them out to sea and beyond safe depths.
- Watch out: Keep a watchful eye on members of your group and particularly young children. Watch them when they are going for a swim, rock pooling of just playing in the water
- Swept out to sea? Stay with your boat or inflatable and shout for help, waving your arms if possible. Do not attempt to swim for shore if out of your depth. Ideally make sure that someone ashore is keeping an eye on you.
- If you’re on a boat or taking part in water sports, do wear a life jacket. A good lifejacket with a light, sprayhood and whistle will be a big help in saving yourself and/or surviving long enough for rescuers to find you if you are unfortunate enough to fall into cold water.
- Step out: If you’re doing cliff or coastal walking, do wear sturdy clothing and footwear and take a mobile phone. Keep pets on a lead and keep well away from cliff edges.
- Keep in touch: Take mobiles. Arrange a meeting place with your group in case you become separated, take full advantage of any beach safety schemes such as wristbands. Plus of course alert the lifeguards or call the Coastguard straightaway if you see anyone in trouble.
If you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
For more information visit: www.coastguardsafety.campaign.gov.uk