Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Our Ultimate Packing List – Top 20 Things To Take To The Beach This Summer

As the temperatures rise and the school Summer holidays get into full swing, families flock to the seaside to enjoy the delights of the beach.  Many will enjoy paddling or swimming in the sea, exploring rock pools, building the best sandcastles ever, hurling a frisbee, or playing a fun game of cricket or rounders.  What is there not to like about that I hear you ask?  However, if you don’t plan your day at the beach it could turn out to be not so enjoyable.  We have also included some top safety tips.


To help avoid you having a less than enjoyable day our team have come up with their ‘Ultimate Packing List’ (top 20 things) to pack for the beach this Summer.  The list is by no means exhaustive and you may want to add extra items or take things away depending on families age, your length of stay or space you have available in your transport.

  1.  Sun cream
  2.  Pop-up tent/beach umbrella
  3.  Sun hats
  4.  Bottles of water/cool bags/picnic/snacks
  5.  Bucket and spade (goes without saying)
  6.  Swimming costumes
  7.  Beach towels
  8.  Picnic blanket
  9.  Good sized beach bag/festival trolley
  10.  Buoyancy aids such as water woggles, arm bands, lifejacket etc
  11.  Windbreak – not only to protect you from the wind but to provide some extra privacy
  12.  Fleeces (if it turns out to be alittle breezey)
  13.  Bat, balls, frisbee, beach cricket set
  14.  Spare toilet paper
  15.  Beach chairs
  16.  Good book or E-book reader
  17.  Zip-lock bags to keep clean clothes clean and dry
  18.  Mobile phone for those all important photograph’s
  19.  Hand sanitizer
  20.  Crabbing net

To make your beach trip a super safe one take a look at the top tips we’ve included:

  1.  Visit a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Stop and Think – look for dangers, always read the signs
  3.  STAY TOGETHER – Never swim alone. Always go with friends or family
  4.  In an emergency CALL ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard – shout for help
  5.  FLOAT – If you fall in, float or swim on your back.

We hope that you have a fun and safe time at the beach.

More useful information:

Schools Out For The Summer – top 10 things that we enjoy about the seaside

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

Beach Safety – HM Coastguard

What to do if you are stung by a jelly fish

Inflatables are not designed for the beach

Visiting the coast whist on holiday – know what to do in a coastal emergency


What to do if you are stung by a jelly fish?

Jelly fish stings are very common at this time of the year due to the large influx of visitors to the coast.They are considered to be part of the plankton, which means that they can’t swim against the current. They can get carried ashore when the wind, waves and current carry them there. 

Our lifeguard colleagues are frequently asked to treat jelly fish stings. So, to dispel any of those ‘old wives tales’ and to help those extremely busy Hospital Accident Departments we have included advice below :

Obtain help if possible either from a lifeguard or someone with 1st aid training.

 If help is not available:

• Rinse the affected area with sea water (not fresh water)

• Remove any spines from the skin using the edge of a bank card or tweezers

• Soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 mins. Test the water before you put someone else’s hand in the water

• Use hot towels if you can’t soak it

• Take pain killers like paracetamol or ibuprofen (If not allergic)


• Use vinegar

• Do not wee on the sting

• Do not apply ice or a cold pack

• Do not touch the spines with your bare hands

• Don’t cover or close the wound

Go to a Minor Injuries Unit if you have :

• severe pain that is not going away

• have been stung on your face or testicles

• been stung by a sting ray

Nearest NHS Minor Injuries Unit can be found via


NHS England

RNLI Lifeguards

How Should You Treat A Weever Fish Sting?

Picture credit : RNLI Lifeguards

Weever fish are plain looking fish and are very common during the Summer months around the UK shore line. Often they nestle in the sand and in water just a few centimetres deep.  A weever fish will raise a sharp spine on it’s back in self defence if it is trodden upon.  Here are some top tips from our Lifeguard colleagues:

  • Place the effected area in water as hot as you can stand it for around 30 minutes. This will destroy the protein based venom and will allow you to continue your day at the beach. Test the water first so as not to scald the person who has been stung.
  • Whilst the stings are painful they are generally nothing to worry about and will not cause any significant damage

There are far greater risks and hazards associated with the coastal environments: the tides, water movement and the effects of cold water shock.

It is always recommended to visit a lifeguarded beach where trained lifeguards are available for advice for all things beach safety and first aid incase you are stung by a weever fish.

More useful information:

Where can I find my nearest lifeguarded beach?

Our blog about Cold Water Shock

How the RNLI keeps beaches safe

Discover more information about waves


RNLI Lifeguards