Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Going on holiday abroad this year? Find out how to stay water safe!

Sadly each year UK residents taking their holiday abroad die through drowning, mainly adults and children.  The Safer Tourism Foundation in 2018 (charity dedicated to preventing accidents, injury and illness for holiday makers travelling abroad) indicated that more than 25 people have drowned in holiday pools in the last two years).

The Royal Lifesaving Society have indicated that 700 people die each year through drowning in the UK and Republic of Ireland and many more suffer injury, some life-changing, through non-fatal drowning experiences.  More people die from drowning in the UK and Ireland than from domestic fires or cycling accidents.

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Having some knowledge of how to stay safe in and around water and an appreciation of the hazards, can help to significantly reduce the number of deaths each year and increase enjoyment.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) have come up with these 11 Water Safety Holiday Top Tips:

1.  When researching your holiday, or arriving at the destination if you haven’t yet done so, check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool/beach

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2.  Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean

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3.  Make sure the whole family can swim.  Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe

4.  Never swim alone and follow the pool rules

5. Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools

6.  Never enter the water after drinking alcohol

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7.  On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also be aware of dangerous rip-currents

8.  Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water

9.   Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral

10.  Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore

RNLILifejacketclinic communitysafety RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats, Seasafety WaterSafety11. Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device and any other safety equipment if you are taking part in any water related activity. However benigh the conditions always consider that they may change quickly without warning.

Have a fabulous, but safe holiday wherever you decide to go. Bon voyage!

Acknowledgements to RLSS and RNLI

More useful links

RLSS Safety on holiday

Cold water shock – know the risks

More rip current safety information

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Inflatables aren’t designed for the beach!

With people flocking to the coast when the temperatures increase and weather improves the number of people being rescued from a wide range of inflatables increases such as unicorns, flamingo’s and inflatable boats.  Inflatables are not simply designed for the beach and it is easy to find yourself quickly swept out to sea.

The recent rescue of 5 year old girls at Minehead who had been swept one mile off shore

If you do choose to use an inflatable, the RNLI would like to remind people that:

  1.  They are only used near to the shore and between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Children are safely supervised at all times
  3.   Never take inflatables out in big waves
  4.   Never use them when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates an offshore wind which will  blow the inflatables out to sea
  5.   Whenever you take to the sea the RNLI recommends that you and your children wear a suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid.  This will provide the necessary floatation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar.

One station in Hampshire in the Summer 2018 had to be called out to rescue four people from inflatables in trouble in just one day.

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

How do the RNLI keep beaches safe

Find out how to stay safe at the coast

HM Coastguard inflatable safety advice

Acknowledgements to RNLI for the use of You Tube video and content