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Ten top tips for a safe summer at the seaside

If you're heading to the beach this summer, spare a thought for safety.

In 2013, RNLI lifeguards responded to 14,523 incidents, helped 16,418 people and saved 115 lives on some of the UK's busiest beaches.

To help the beach-going public stay safe, the lifesaving charity is offering some essential beach safety tips to make sure people remember their summer holidays for the right reason.

  1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach
  2. Swim between the red and yellow flags
  3. Never swim alone
  4. Know your beach safety flags
  5. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
  6. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
  7. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can't see a lifeguard call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
  8. Find out about the beach you're going to before you visit
  9. Check tide times before you go
  10. Read and follow the advice on local hazard signs
Safety on the beach with RNLI

Ross Macleod, RNLI Coastal Safety Programmes Manager, says:

"We recommend that people choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, where the lifeguards can see them. We want people to enjoy their time at the beach, but it's important to put safety first. By following the advice the RNLI is offering, we hope people will stay safe at the beach so they remember their summer for the right reasons."

"RNLI lifeguards are specially-trained and a great deal of their work is preventative - they give advice and warn people of potential dangers, to prevent incidents happening in the first place."

"Those who can't make it to a lifeguarded beach should find out about their chosen beach before they go, read the safety signs to make themselves aware of the local hazards. Most importantly, if they see someone in trouble, they should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard - but should not enter the water themselves."

This year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling 200 of the UK's busiest beaches.

The charity's free Beach Finder mobile app helps people find their nearest lifeguarded beach. The app can be downloaded from

The charity's guide to beach safety, On The Beach, is also packed full of advice on how to stay safe at the beach. It is available free-of-charge by emailing or calling 0800 328 0600. 

Further practical advice and tips on how to stay safe can be found at

RNLI Lifeguard