Surf’s up! Jersey school children take to the waves with RNLI lifeguards

School children on Jersey headed to the beach with RNLI lifeguards this summer to learn vital lessons about how to keep themselves safe in the surf. A total of 170 children from four schools took part in the charity’s unique Hit the Surf scheme which was delivered on Jersey for the first time this year. The programme sees RNLI lifeguards give surf safety sessions to youngsters aged between 7 and 11 – combining theory and practical lessons, which aim to make the children more capable and confident in the water.

Dave Gorman, the RNLI Lifeguard Manager who runs the programme, says:

“We were delighted to introduce the Hit the Surf programme to schools on Jersey. Hit the Surf is a fun and active programme for the children to get involved in but it also carries some very important messages about how to stay safe in the surf and what to do should they find themselves in difficulty”.

The Summer Holidays are here, have fun and “Stay Safe at the Seaside!”

Now that the Scottish and Northern Irish school holidays are here, Coastguards in Scotland and Northern Ireland are encouraging children and families to stay safe whilst at the beach and along the coast.
Phil MacIver, HM Coastguard Sector Manager at Buchan said:
“We would like to warn people against jumping into the water from cliffs and structures such as piers and bridges. Every year, nationally we deal with several serious injuries and some deaths as a result of this kind of activity. Tides make a massive difference and what may have been a deep lagoon could be just a shallow puddle only a couple of hours later. At this time of the year the water is still cold so be careful when entering the water, do it slowly, and acclimatise gradually”. Coastguards have also noticed an increase in the number of dogs that have fallen down cliffs. We’d like to warn people against attempting to rescue their dogs and encourage them to call the coastguard and ask for assistance.
We want everyone who visits our coast to have a great time and to go home with happy memories. If you choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags you’ll ensure that you have expert lifesavers looking out for you while you’re in the water. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched a new beach finder mobile app to make it easy for anyone heading to the seaside this summer to find their nearest lifeguarded beach, helping them to have fun whilst enjoying a safe visit. The app is available to download free-of-charge on both Android and Apple devices from www.rnli.org/beach
If you’re looking after children make sure that they are well supervised by adults whilst at the coast. We deal with numerous cases of lost children every year and it can be very distressing for children and adults alike.
If you notice that someone is in difficulty, either alert the lifeguard if one is available or call the coastguard on 999. Finally, have a great time and return home safely.
If you want to prepare for your day out on the coast, you might like to visit the kids activity zone at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/kids/

Strong winds prove too much for kite surfers

Today’s strong winds and rough seas have created conditions that have really proved too much for the ability of some kite surfers around the East Anglian coast. Yarmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre was alerted three times this afternoon, to assist kite surfers in difficulties around the Hunstanton area. The Hunstanton Coastguard Rescue Team and the Hunstanton RNLI Lifeboat were sent to each incident. The Ambulance Paramedic, the Air Ambulance, and a land Ambulance were sent to the third incident where a Kite surfer was taken to Hospital.
Mario Siano, Yarmouth Coastguard Watch Manager said:
“I know that kite surfers enjoy extreme conditions but with a severe weather warning was out and winds were gusting to more than 50 miles an hour. My best advice is make sure you get weather information before you take to the water and dont go out in conditions that are beyond your experience”.
Stay safe – before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch. Read more on the MCA website…