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RNLI ambition to create new voluntary coastal safety teams along Norfolk and Suffolk coast

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 July 2015

Samuel Kendrick, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the East (second left), with RNLI lifeboat and flood resxue volunteers at the Cromer Respect the Water 2015 campaign launch. Picture: PHILIP SMITH

Samuel Kendrick, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the East (second left), with RNLI lifeboat and flood resxue volunteers at the Cromer Respect the Water 2015 campaign launch. Picture: PHILIP SMITH

Archant

The RNLI is hoping to provide bespoke life-saving advice to beach visitors through new voluntary groups to raise awareness of water safety.

It wants to establish coastal safety teams, initially made up of current RNLI volunteers, at its lifeboat stations in Norfolk and Suffolk to offer advice and warnings about particular dangers as well as general safety.

Currently there is only one community safety team up and running - in Happisburgh - which was set up 18 months ago and includes five people.

But the RNLI wants similar teams set up in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Cromer, Sheringham, Wells, Hunstanton, Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh, Harwich, Walton and Frinton.

It is also hoped permanent signs offering advice about certain dangers for different areas targeting particular water users will be put up at these beaches and eventually all Norfolk and Suffolk beaches.

The ideas were announced at the Cromer launch of the RNLI’s Respect the Water 2015 nationwide campaign yesterday.

Set up in 2013, it is aimed at making people more aware of sea and water dangers all year round.

This year it is warning people about the dangers of cold water shocks, the unpredictable nature of water, caused by currents, waves and tides, and unexpected slips, trips and falls into the water.

It hopes to widen its safety messages after it revealed 46 people had died around the East Anglian coast over the past five years.

More than half of these people were taking part in activities including walking and running and were not intending to enter the water.

Philip Smith, from the Happisburgh RNLI lifeboat station, said: “We want people to enjoy the sea but get home safely.”


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