RNLI Torbay urges people to respect the water this Easter

Lifeboats News Release

As the school holidays approach, the RNLI in the region 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 south west beaches on Good Friday (30 March).

RNLI/David Ham

RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes

2017 statistics just released show that RNLI lifeguards across the south west* dealt with 7,962 incidents while the charity’s volunteer crews launched 1,266 times.

Whilst there are no lifeguarded beaches within the Torbay patch, it is one of the busiest stations in the whole of the south west with 96 launches last year, and 94 people aided. That puts Torbay in 3rd place in the region (behind Plymouth at 136 launches, and Weymouth at 102). Indeed, Devon overall is the second busiest county for the RNLI nationwide, only behind super-busy Tower lifeboat station (Greater London) for number of launches.

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Partner for the south west, says:

‘RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crew across the south west are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and last year, together assisted 11,227 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.

When planning coastal activities this Easter, 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.

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

Notes to editors

Please see the links here to a compilation of 2017 rescue footage from across the UK. The same film is also available without music which will be suitable for broadcast here

  • *The south west area of the RNLI includes 30 stations in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset
  • In 2017 RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews launched 1,266 times, assisting 1,147 people
  • In 2017, RNLI lifeguards across the south west dealt with 7,982 incidents, assisting 10,080 people

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer: 07794 043 428 or vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer: 01752 854450 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

Carrie Garrad, RNLI Regional Media Officer: 07786 668 847 or carrie_garrad@rnli.org.uk

or contact the 24-hour Newsdesk at RNLI Public Relations, Poole HQ on 01202 336 789

RNLI/David Ham

RNLI Torbay inshore lifeboat Leslie & Mary Daws

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.