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RNLI urges people to 'Respect the Water' in bid to cut down on deaths on Welsh coast

The RNLI have called for visitors to the seaside to 'Respect the Water' after new figures showed the scale of injuries and even death.

  • 17 people accidentally died around the Welsh coast last year
  • A further 65 people were saved by RNLI crews and lifeguards
  • Over recent years, 73% - that's three quarters of all those who've died, have been men.
The RNLI says it aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024 Credit: PA

So why are the figures so high?

Mike Griffiths reports.

Tom Hewlett is an experienced fisherman who goes out once a week.

At the start of July, he got into trouble on the River Neath, and was rescued by a crew from Port Talbot's lifeboat station.

The lifeboat crew rescuing Tom Hewlett on the River Neath

I was very surprised at how quick the tide came up and shut me out.

It was a five minute mistake that ultimately could have turned a lot worse than it was

– Tom Hewlett

The RNLI says it's often every day activities that lead to people putting themselves in danger.

They've launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the number of deaths on our coasts in recent years

The 'Respect the Water' campaign setting up in Cardiff Bay

It's your walking, it's your running and your swimming. They're the things that statistically are showing us that people are getting into trouble.

Our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards are very quick to be on the scene, but actually we lost 17 lives last year.

We need people to think about the risks and respect the water

– NICOLA DAVIES, RNLI
The Port Talbot lifeboat returning to its base

Tom says he's learnt from his experience and is now even volunteering with the crew that saved him.