THE RNLI is currently seeking further clarity following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday easing some lockdown restrictions.
When lockdown measures were first introduced, the RNLI advised the public not to use the water for leisure and recreational purposes.
It is now engaging with a number of water sport governing bodies and other stakeholders to help inform its response to Boris Johnson’s latest statement.
Many people will want to visit the coast and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling.
At present, there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and although volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.
This will also help to reduce the demands placed on lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard.
A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.”
Anyone planning a visit to the coast should follow RNLI safety advice:
- Take care near cliffs – know your route and your limitations
- Have a plan – check the weather forecast and tide times
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, Float to Live – fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
- If individuals are choosing to go sailing or yachting it is important to ensure that equipment is properly checked and serviceable before going afloat
- In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
You can find more advice from the RNLI at rnli.org
Lyme Regis lifeboat crew has been called out three times since lockdown measures were introduced; once as part of a major search operation for a missing diver, who was later fined for breaching government guidelines, and twice in one day to unidentified objects in the water which turned out to be logs.