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Bank Holiday beach safety message

shutterstock_317546213FOLLOWING the number of tragic water related incidents across the country this summer, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is sending their deepest condolences to those effected, and would like to take this time to advise the public on how to use the sea safely.

Deputy Head of Community Safety, Steve Davies, said: “We cannot stress enough just how dangerous the sea can be, and how your life could change in a second.”

To avoid a potentially life threatening experience this Bank Holiday Weekend:

  • Where possible, only swim at a beach patrolled by lifeguards. Please refer to the RNLI’s list of lifeguard patrolled beaches here – http://rnli.org/aboutus/lifeguardsandbeaches/Pages/Lifeguarded-beaches.aspx
  • Before and upon arrival at the beach, look for safety information and follow it. Take note of which flags are up and what that means to you as a beach goer. Please see ROSPA’s beach flag information here – http://www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/children-young-people/beach-flags/
  • Never swim alone
  • If you find yourself in trouble at the beach, try to remain calm – stick your hand in the air and shout for help
  • If you see someone in trouble alert a lifeguard immediately and phone 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
  • Always supervise children
  • Do not use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas. Even a slight breeze could be stronger than you think at sea and could take you out to sea
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  • Even if it is a warm day and you are a good swimmer, you could still find yourself with cold water shock
  • Beneath the surface you cannot see what is happening with rip currents, nor can you predict current, tide and wave activity. Don’t let it be too late – educate yourself beforehand and pay heed to all safety warnings at the beach.

“We want you to enjoy the wonderful beaches that the Welsh coastline has to offer safely and incident free this weekend,” Mr Davies concluded.

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Jon Coles

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