RNLI launches beach safety campaign ahead of a busy summer on Jersey’s beaches
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard today launch a joint beach safety campaign. It comes as the charity’s lifeguards and lifeboat crews in Jersey prepare for the busy summer ahead as people choose to ‘staycation’ with continued uncertainty over foreign holidays and international travel.
This weekend (Saturday 29 May) RNLI lifeguards will begin daily patrols on Grève de Lecq, St Brelades and Plémont beaches, in addition to their existing patrols at St Ouens.
Ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend (29 May-1 June) and half-term holidays, the RNLI and HM Coastguard are launching a new safety campaign, urging everyone to choose lifeguarded beaches when they visit the coast.
Jake Elms, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor says;
‘We know Jersey is a popular destination for those holidaying in the UK and as covid restrictions are eased, and travel into and out of Jersey is becoming easier we are expecting this year to be the busiest ever.
‘We want people to enjoy the Island’s spectacular beaches abut urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.
‘Our main advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling four beaches in Jersey from Saturday throughout the summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble.
‘Our coastline provides great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but it can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock.’
The key summer safety advice is:
‘A few simple safety tips will ensure your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.
Before setting out, take a minute to check the weather, tides and winds to help avoid getting caught out.
Watersports such as paddleboarding are now incredibly popular and we’d encourage everyone to make it a fun rather than frightening experience. It pays to prepare and taking a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch when you set out for a paddle will mean you can call for help if needed.’
Not everyone who finds themselves in trouble in the water, expected to even get wet though
‘In a normal year, around 140 people lose their lives accidentally at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water,’ added Jake
‘If you find yourself in trouble in cold water, your natural reaction can be to panic and thrash around, which increases the chances of breathing in water and drowning. The best thing to do is to float on your back and wait for the effects of cold water shock to pass until you can control your breathing. You can then plan your next move to reach safety.’
The Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport & Culture, Deputy Hugh Raymond, commented:
‘Keeping people safe in the sea is immensely important and we are very grateful to the RNLI lifeguards for providing this service. The Government has been supporting the RNLI over the past ten years to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers in the Island and I am pleased to see this continue.’
For further information on the beach safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/BeachUK2021
A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches