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Stay safe on the beach this summer

Remember the safety code on our New Forest beaches

Stay safe on the beach this summer 

steamer point beachDid you know that the New Forest has over 40 miles of coastline? We are fortunate in Lymington to be situated close to some lovely beaches, including those at Milford-on-Sea, Lepe, and Highcliffe... and even more fortunate that the water quality at these beaches has been rated as excellent.

Whether you prefer pebbles or sand, we have it covered! Many local beaches have cafés where you can enjoy an ice cream or cup of tea and of course, the coast path gives ample opportunity for walks with picturesque views.

How to stay safe at the beach

Days on the beach evoke idyllic memories of childhood fun, but it is so important to stay safe on the beach. Our fantastic Lymington RNLI crew has provided us with some important tips on how to ensure you and your families stay safe...

  • Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
  • If you're in trouble in the water, float to live
  • In an emergency dial 999 for the Coastguard (UK) or 112 for the Coast Guard (Ireland)

red and yellow flagThe Good Beach Guide can help you search for recommended beaches in the UK and ROI. The RNLI Beachfinder app will help you to search for beaches with lifeguards.

Always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach - these will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming. When on a lifeguarded beach, always swim between the red and yellow flags - this area is patrolled by lifeguards. 

steamer point beachNever go in the sea if the red flags are flying as it is too dangerous

Never swim alone.

If you get into trouble stick your hand in the air and shout for help

If you see someone in difficulty, never attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you cannot see a lifeguard call 999 (UK) or 112 (Ireland) and ask for the coastguard

Children are safest when supervised. As soon as you get to the beach arrange a meeting place in case of separation (e.g. dedicated lost child post, lifeguard station, beach shop...) If the beach operator is running a kids' safety scheme - handing out wristbands, tickets etc - be sure to take part. It's free and they work! If you are on an RNLI lifeguarded beach, visit the lifeguard hut on arrival - they can give you special wristbands on which you can put your contact details. If your child does go missing: calmly check your surroundings first, ensuring other children remain monitored. Contact the lifeguard or police and keep all informed. Let all searchers know once the child is found.

orange wind sock

Inflatable toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can be easily swept out. If you must use them at the beach then: ensure children are closely supervised, keep nearby, only use between the red and yellow flags, follow the lifeguard's advice, never take out in big waves, never use them when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates offshore winds.

Bodyboarding is fun for all the family, but every year lifeguards rescue thousands of people who get caught out. The most important advice is to always stay with your board as it will keep you above the water, even if you feel you are drifting out to sea. Your board will keep you afloat and make you much easier to spot if lifeguards need to rescue you.

How to float

  1. Fight your instinct the thrash around
  2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs
  3. If you need to gently move them around to help you float
  4. Float until you can control your breathing
  5. Only then call for help or swim to safety

Follow government safety advice

Please adhere to your government’s safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and respect social distancing at all times. Please consider whether you should travel to a beach and remember to follow guidelines regarding travelling only with your household. 

SAFE: The coastguard has a good nmemonic for beach safety

pot the dangers
lways go with a friend
ind and read emergency signs and flags
mergency! Stick your hand up and shout, tell a lifeguard or dial 999 for the coastguard

FLAGS: The RNLI use the following

ind the red and yellow flags and swim between them
ook at the safety signs
sk a lifeguard for advice
et a friend to swim with you
tick your hand up and shout for help if in difficulty

Bites and stings in the water

lesser weaver fish

Sometimes jellyfish have been spotted on beaches along the Solent. According to Steve Backshall, TV presenter and naturalist, we do not need to worry. "When you see the creepy photos of vast swarms of jellies stranded on beaches like an alien invasion, these are like dense but finite aggregations and 100 metres down the beach may be completely clear." 

Weaverfish: place the affected area in water as hot as is comfortable. Test the water first so as not to scald the victim.

compass jellyfish

Jellyfish: DO NOT RUB as this will cause the pain to intensify. Lightly spray the area with seawater and apply a cold compress or ice if available. If severe or life-threatening symptoms are present, seek medical help immediately. 

 

 

 

For more information see www.rnli.org.uk. The RNLI in Lymington is based in Bath Road carpark. You can visit the Lymington RNLI shop and find out more information about RNLI station visits. Follow Lymington RNLI on Twitter. 

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