Over two weeks (17 to 28 April), schools across the south west are being visited by RNLI lifeguards who will educate young children on important beach safety advice in preparation for the summer season.

RNLI – credit_rnlinathan_williamsjpg

A total of 325 primary schools across Devon and Cornwall will each receive 45 minute beach safety talks from fully trained RNLI lifeguards, where the children will learn the importance of swimming at a lifeguarded beach, what the different flags mean, how to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water, how to spot and escape a rip current and what to do in an emergency.

The young students will also have the opportunity to ask questions, see some of the equipment used by the RNLI lifeguards, learn more about their role and identify the safety signage used at beaches.

credit RNLI

Tim Treleor, Water Safety Education Manager for the South West said;

‘Our lifeguards are really excited to return to schools this year. This programme is incredibly important leading up to the summer season where we see so many families travel to our wonderful beaches. It encourages families to plan their visit and always choose a lifeguarded beach.

‘We teach the the children about how to Float to Live, the risks in and around the water and how to seek help in an emergency. Our aim is to increase young children’s awareness of the potential dangers around the coast, being aware of the weather conditions, tide times, and having the ability to identify beach flags.’

The RNLI is urging anybody choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by adhering to the following beach safety advice:

· Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags

· Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks

· 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 999/112 and ask for the Coastguard