Beach safety 

A holiday at the seaside is fun for the whole family. An RNLI lifeguard explains what to look out for to stay safe on the beach.

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Transcript of Beach safety

(man) You can have a lot of fun on the beach,

but it's just all about being aware

and taking the advice of the lifeguards

and making sure that you keep your family as safe as possible.

It's fun and we always have people, like, family watching us,

so we know we're safe.

(Nick) The main dangers on the beach would be rip currents,

which is a body of water moving out to sea,

which, if you get caught in, can take you out to sea.

(woman) Out there, you feel how strong the current is,

so you do to constantly watch where you are,

because it's really easy to suddenly look around

and realise you've drifted kind of quite far out.

(Nick) You've also got the dangers of the waves.

There's a lot of force behind the waves. So if you get caught in the wrong place,

they can injure you.

You can get cut off by the tides quite easily.

We make sure we have an adult watching us.

If we haven't, we go back and say, "Can I go in the sea

and can you come and watch us?" Something like that.

Obviously for the parents, your children want to go swimming,

it's best to make sure they're accompanied at all times by an adult.

Don't let them go in the water on their own. It is a very dangerous environment.

When they're in the sea, their granddad's always in the sea with them.

(Nick) Also keep an eye on your kids when they're on the beach.

We get a large number of lost children.

It's easy for a child to get disorientated.

(woman) The kids can only bathe between red and yellow flags,

so they stay there, and the big boys are surfers.

When there's a swell, they go out between the black and white flags.

The flag system is simple. The red and yellow is for swimming or body-boarding,

the black and white if you're learning to surf.

Always keep looking back to make sure you don't go outside

either the red and yellow or the black and white flags.

We also have an orange windsock,

which designates that there is an offshore wind on that day

and you should not take inflatables in the water.

We also have a red flag,

which means that the beach is unsafe for entering the water

and on those days you must not enter the water at all.

If someone's, like, right at the edge of a cliff, they could jump

because they think it's deep water, but there could be rocks down there.

Tombstoning is jumping off cliffs or rocks into the water.

Obviously very dangerous because with tidal movement,

the depth of the water below you can change significantly.

Also there can be rocks which you might not be able to see.

And if you land on those, you can get significantly hurt.

So the general advice is, don't do it.

In an emergency situation,

the first thing is, obviously, don't panic.

It's only going to make your situation worse.

You should keep hold of any floatation you have,

so if you're body-boarding or surfing, keep hold of that board

raise your arm into the air and wait to be rescued.

The lifeguard will come out and get you.

Try and swim at a lifeguarded beach.

You can see a list of all the lifeguarded beaches on the RNLI website

and there's generally always a beach near you

that has got lifeguards, where it's safer to go swimming.

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