The RNLI has issued a plea for the public to take heed of important water safety advice as schools begin an extended mid-term break and the Executive introduces increased restrictions to deal with Covid-19.
With more people taking exercise outside and enjoying the water, the lifesaving charity is reminding the public that the water temperature can be cold and to be aware of the dangers if they are near the coast or inland waters.
RNLI Water Safety Lead Kevin Rahill said: ‘With the extended mid-term break and the increased restrictions it is understandable that people may wish to try and get outdoors to enjoy the coast or our inland waters. However, the water can be cold and there are no lifeguards on the beaches.
‘We would ask those planning to use the water or exercise near the coast to continue to be aware of the dangers and to avoid taking risks. By being aware of some key safety advice we can all keep safe.’
The RNLI’s key water safety messages are:
- If you are heading to the water always check weather and tides or currents
- Have a plan and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back
- If swimming, check for rip currents and strong tides and always be accompanied
- If you are walking along the coast be aware that rocks and paths may be slippery
- If you are going on the water, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid
- Always carry a reliable means of raising the alarm
- If you see someone in trouble dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard
RNLI lifeguards operated on nine beaches in Northern Ireland, finishing up last month after an incredibly busy season. The charity operates 10 lifeboat station in Northern Ireland, and they remain on-call 24/7.