RNLI ramps up safety advice as East Anglia approaches their most dangerous month

Sheringham RNLI lifeboat.

Sheringham RNLI lifeboat. - Credit: Colin Finch

More people die at the East Anglian coast in August than in any other month of the year, according to figures released by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

With the summer holidays well underway, research from the lifesaving charity also reveals a worrying discovery: that less than one-fifth (17%) of the UK population say they would call 999 immediately to request help if they saw someone fall into open water.

The number of non-fatal incidents is also highest in August, with the charity's lifeboat crews in the region launching to most emergencies at sea during this busy summer month.

Ben Mitchell, RNLI Community Safety Partner for East Anglia, said: 'With summer holidays upon us and hopefully some hot weather, our fantastic beaches are naturally a draw for many people – but sadly this also means more people tragically losing their lives or getting into serious danger at the coast.'

As part of the RNLI's drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, the charity is calling on the public to help save more lives during this busy August period by remembering and sharing key survival skills.

Mr Mitchell said: 'We need to start a national conversation that encourages people to fight their instincts around water, so we are asking people to remember and share two skills.

'The first is, if you see someone else in trouble, don't go into the water yourself as you may also end up in serious danger. Instead, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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'The second is, if you fall into cold water, fight your instincts to swim hard or thrash about as this could lead to drowning. Instead, relax and float on your back, keeping your airway clear, for around 60–90 seconds. This will allow the effects of cold water shock to pass so you can regain control of your breathing and then swim to safety or call for help. Just remembering these two simple points could help save your life, or someone else's, this summer.'

The RNLI is asking people to visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater where they will find safety advice. On social media search #RespectTheWater.

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