RNLI issue warning over swimming in open water after visitor numbers rise by 20 per cent

Lifeboat crews on the East Coast say they have seen a 20 per cent surge in the number of visitors due to staycations and the recent good weather.

But with that it seems some beachgoers are unaware of the dangers that a trip to the sea can pose.

The National Lifeboat Charity the RNLI says some people don't seem to understand how a fast moving tide could get them into difficulty.

Humberston Beach,  just south of Cleethorpes, attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Matt McNally from RNLI said: "There is definitely a risk to life. Because the creek fills so quickly and the sandbanks form so quickly the water is flowing really fast. It can be flowing at seven or eight miles per hour so there is no way you can swim against that speed of current and it can blow you anywhere. 

Last Wednesday on the same beach the RNLI had to rescue two individuals who had become victims of tidal cut off. 

Also finding themselves in difficulty a mile out from Cleethorpes pier in 2019 were friends Ellie Mae Codd and Lucia Foster. 

The two girls had become stranded on a sandbank, surrounded by the fast-rising tide.   

Ellie Mae said:"We saw all the water around us and we thought what are we going to do. We were going to swim it but we had our phones and bags with us and then we heard a siren and saw the lifeboat - We are going to come and help you."

Lucia said:"When we got back they turned the lifeboat around and showed us where we had been and there was water over it and we wouldn't have got back without them. "

Ellie Mae Codd and Lucia Foster rescued by RNLI

So far this year the Cleethorpes crew have been called out 32 times- compared to the average 20.  That is over 50 per cent more callouts than normal. 

Matt McNally added:"I think it's largely because there are more people coming to the beach this year because people can't holiday abroad, they are coming to the coast, they have not been to Cleethorpes before they don't understand the dangers they are not aware of them. "

In this reconstruction of a swimmer distressed in open water, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has this advice:   

"Not to panic. Don't try and swim because the shock will exhaust you. lay back in the water- out stretch your arms to the side and just FLOAT. Give yourself 60-90 seconds, your breathing will calm right down and you will be able to gain control of your body. One arm in the air to raise the alarm and shout for help.  "

They also have this vital prevention message for all beach goers. 

Elliot Rogers from RNLI said: "We want people to visit a life guarded beach where those lifeguards are there to help keep you safe. If you are going to go in the water - it's really important that you climatise. If you get into the water too quickly you may suffer from cold water shock. If you see somebody else in trouble it's really important that you stay out.Don't put yourself in any unnecessary risk and call those emergency services. "

And with an expected 20 percent increase in visitor numbers to the East Yorkshire coastlines this summer- The National Lifeboat Charity hope their advice is heard to help prevent any more loss of life.