RNLI in the north of England urges people to respect the water this Easter

Lifeboats News Release

As the school holidays approach, the RNLI in the north west of England is calling on people visiting the coast this Easter to respect the water and remember sea temperatures are still very cold.

The call comes as the charity’s lifeguards return to some of the region’s beaches on Good Friday (30 March).

In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across the north west of England dealt with 1,149 incidents. The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews in Cumbria launched 71 times and assisted 55 people, in Merseyside there were 53 launches and 48 people assisted and in Lancashire 151 lifeboat launches and 68 people offered assistance.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner for the west, says:

‘RNLI lifesavers across the north west of England are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it. Last year, RNLI lifeguards in the region assisted 6,789 people and lifeboat crew 171 people.

‘Despite their commitment, tragically in the UK and Ireland at least one person dies from drowning each day. We believe that one drowning is one too many and we would encourage people to think ahead and to take the necessary precautions to keep them and their family safe at the coast.’

Around half of those who die at the coast find themselves in the water unexpectedly, often as a result of slips, trips or falls, meaning they weren’t properly prepared to get wet. To prevent this happening, it is crucial people plan their activity, but also think about what they’d do in an emergency should something unexpected happen.

Check the weather and tide conditions and make sure your equipment is all in working order. Carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong; know your capabilities and make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment.

If you see someone in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 (or 112) and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water yourself.

Chris continues:

‘If you’re planning to get in the water, take advantage of the RNLI lifeguard service this Easter. A team of lifeguards will be able to advise and keep you safe. If you are feeling brave enough for a swim we’d recommend wearing a wetsuit at this time of year to stay warmer, and always swim or body board between the red and yellow flags where the lifeguards are watching.’

On the Wirral, RNLI lifeguards will be back on patrol from 30 March – 15 April at West Kirby, Moreton, Harrison Drive, The Plateaux and New Brighton (Perch Rock).

On 24 March, RNLI lifeguard began patrols of beaches in Formby, Ainsdale and Southport, a service which will run over the holiday until 8 April. There will be the usual all-year round RNLI lifeguard service at Crosby between 10-6pm.

To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.com

Notes to editors

*RNLI statistics for the north of England lifeguard region includes two beaches in Denbighshire, north Wales.

RNLI lifeboat stations in Cumbria include:

Barrow Lifeboat Station

Silloth Lifeboat Station

St Bees Lifeboat Station

Workington Lifeboat Station

RNLI lifeboat stations in Merseyside include:

Hoylake Lifeboat Station

New Brighton Lifeboat Station

West Kirby Lifeboat Station

RNLI lifeboat stations in Lancashire include:

Blackpool Lifeboat Station

Fleetwood Lifeboat Station

Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Station

Morecambe Lifeboat Station

A video compilation including rescues from the north west of England is available. Included in the compilation are rescues from St Bees, Blackpool, Hoylake and Fleetwood.

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07786 668829 or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI lifeguards return to some of the region’s beaches on Good Friday (30 March).

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguards return to some of the region’s beaches on Good Friday (30 March).

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.