With many people making the most of the good weather and enjoying the last of their summer holidays the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to remain cautious of the dangers of the sea.
They have issued some simple rules to help everyone enjoy the beach safely in the UK. Their number one tip is to swim at a lifeguarded beach.
At a lifeguarded beach
- Swim between the red and yellow flags
- Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
- Check the weather and tide times before you go
- If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
- If you see someone in difficulty, don not attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, call 999 or 112, or ask for the coastguard
At a non-lifeguarded beach
- Always read and obey the safety signs
- Find out about your chosen beach before you go
- Check the weather and tides before you go
- When hiring equipment, make sure it is suitable to your ability
How to spot a rip current
- Discoloured, brown water - caused by sand being stirred up from the seabed
- Foam on the water's surface
- Debris floating out to sea
- A rippled patch of sea, when the water around is generally calm
How to get out of trouble
If you are caught in a rip or strong current, obey the three Rs:
- Relax: Stay calm and float. Do not swim against the current, swim across it.
- Raise: Raise an arm to signal for help. If possible shout to the shore
- Rescue: Float and wait for assistance. Do not panic - obey the directions from the lifeguard.