Swim Safe sessions at Summerleaze

Saturday 6th August 2022 11:00 am
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THE RNLI have teamed up with Swim England to offer free sea safety lessons taking place this summer for seven to 14 year olds at Summerleaze beach in Bude. Picture: RNLI ()

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has joined forces with Swim England to offer children across the UK free lifesaving water safety skills this summer — and in the south west, sessions will be running at Summerleaze beach in Bude.

Recent research released by the lifesaving charity revealed over 11-million people visited the south west’s beaches last summer.

RNLI lifeguards covering the region dealt with 11,216 incidents, aided 13,664 people and saved 57 lives. Younger children, in particular, required assistance more than any other age group.

Local delivery partners around the UK, supported by the national governing body for swimming in England and the RNLI, are running free Swim Safe sessions to teach children aged seven to 14 how to stay safe in and around open water and what to do if they, or someone else, gets into difficulty – including how to ‘Float to Live’.

In the south west, Swim Safe sessions can now be booked at Summerleaze beach in Bude on Saturday, August 13.

Joel Ninnes, South West RNLI water safety delivery support said: “Last year, RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews were busy, aiding more than 50,000 people and saving 408 lives.

“By educating children about water safety from a young age, together we can help reduce the number of incidents around our coasts and at inland locations.

“That’s why we are encouraging parents of children between the ages of 7 and 14 to sign them up to the free Swim Safe sessions to help build their confidence in and around the water, while learning vital skills which could save their lives such as how to Float.

“This is a simple technique where you lean back like a starfish, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. It allows you to control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety and is proven to save lives.”

Since 2013, the Swim Safe programme has delivered free lifesaving sessions to more than 148,000 children across the UK — many of these visitors and holidaymakers.

The 45-minute sessions are run by local partners with trained instructors during the summer months at outdoor water locations including beaches and inland sites such as water sports centres.

Ashley Jones, water safety and drowning prevention manager for Swim England said: “We’re pleased to be able to partner with the RNLI again to run free Swim Safe sessions this summer at a variety of coastal and inland locations around the UK.

“We want children and their parents to enjoy themselves around water but also to think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.”

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