Stay safe at the seaside this summer say HM Coastguard

Now that the school holidays are here, Coastguards in Scotland and Northern Ireland are encouraging children and families to stay safe whilst at the beach and along the coast.

Coastguard chiefs in Scotland are warning people of the dangers of jumping into water from cliffs and piers.

They also say they have noticed an increase in the number of dogs falling down cliffs.

Phil MacIver, HM Coastguard Sector Manager at Buchan said: “We’d like to warn people against jumping into the water from cliffs and structures such as piers and bridges. Every year, nationally we deal with several serious injuries and some deaths as a result of this kind of activity.

“Tides make a massive difference and what may have been a deep lagoon could be just a shallow puddle only a couple of hours later. At this time of the year the water is still cold so be careful when entering the water, do it slowly and acclimatise gradually.

“Coastguards have also noticed an increase in the number of dogs that have fallen down cliffs. We’d like to warn people against attempting to rescue their dogs and encourage them to call the coastguard and ask for assistance.

“We want everyone who visits our coast to have a great time and to go home with happy memories. If you choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags you’ll ensure that you have expert lifesavers looking out for you while you’re in the water.

“The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched a new ‘beach finder’ mobile app to make it easy for anyone heading to the seaside this summer to find their nearest lifeguarded beach, helping them to have fun whilst enjoying a safe visit. The app is available to download free-of-charge on both Android and Apple devices from www.rnli.org/beach

“If you’re looking after children make sure that they are well supervised by adults whilst at the coast. We deal with numerous cases of lost children every year and it can be very distressing for children and adults alike.

“If you notice that someone is in difficulty, either alert the lifeguard if one is available or call the coastguard on 999.

“Finally, have a great time and return home safely.”

If you want to prepare for your day out on the coast, you might like to visit our kids’ activity zone at http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/kids/