The RNLI urges people to stay safe ahead of Storm Erik

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is urging people to stay safe at the coast over the coming days as severe weather could make our seas particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk.

The RNLI is urging people to stay safe at the coast over the coming days as severe weather could make our seas particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk.

The charity is advising people to stay away from the water during the storms, give waves a wide berth, and be aware that unexpected big waves can easily catch people out.

Community Safety Partner for the RNLI Guy Addington says: ‘Storm Erik is the next of the storms to be heading our way and is set to bring dangerous sea conditions. We are repeating our advice to people tempted to watch the stormy conditions unfold to “stay back, stay high and stay dry!”’

Every year, around 190 people lose their lives around the coast of Britain and Ireland. Over half of those who die didn’t plan to enter the water, with slips, trips and falls being a major factor.

Guy added: ‘People need to be aware that the coastline will be exceptionally treacherous on Saturday in particular. The large swell will mean that areas normally accessible at low tide may be cut off by storm surges. Sea walls and harbour areas may become inundated with surface flooding and large waves.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats or that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity is advising that if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, to relax and float on your back to catch your breath and try to grab hold of something to keep you afloat. The initial shock of being in cold water can cause you to gasp and panic but these initial effects pass in less than a minute, so don’t try to swim straight away. Keep calm and catch your breath, then call for help, or swim for safety if you’re able to.

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For more information please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

Notes to editor:

The footage is taken from April 2018 of people pulled into the water off Redcar Lifeboat Station. Credit James McGairy - for news purposes only.

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.

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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.

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