28/05/2004

RNLI urges care on bank holiday after busy weekend

Last weekend was the busiest of 2004 with RNLI lifeboats launching 80 times to help adults and children in distress throughout the UK and Ireland.

RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews do not want to see a repeat of 2003, when they responded to a record number of incidents. The RNLI said that families and water sport enthusiasts should enjoy the spring bank holiday without becoming another rescue statistic.

In 2003, RNLI lifeguards aided 7,819 people whilst dealing with a total of 7,226 separate incidents. RNLI lifeboats and volunteer crews launched 8,109 times, rescuing 7,365 people.

The insitution has asked the public to take advantage of the RNLI's free safety advice, including its brand new beach safety guide.

Many incidents could be prevented with some basic safety knowledge, said RNLI Sea Safety Manager Peter Chennell.

"Many incidents can be prevented with some basic safety knowledge, and we have developed a brand new beach safety guide after the record breaking number of incidents in 2003. We would urge people to contact us for this and all our other safety information," he said.

"The RNLI is always glad to help, and we'd rather people asked for it when they're on dry land rather than when they're 'all at sea'."

Contact the RNLI information line on freephone 0800 328 0600 or via email on seasafety@rnli.org.uk or by logging on to the sea and beach safety sites on www.rnli.org.uk.

(SP)

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