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Be safe beside water this summer

Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) Media Release

Coastguards are encouraging families to stay safe beside the water this summer.  And to make sure that children, parents, grandparents and teachers feel well prepared for their day out on the coast, the coastguard has just launched a new set of games and activities on http://kids.direct.gov.uk/ (opens in a new window).  Click on the world, then go to the 'watch  station' in the ‘places’ icon.
Coastguard sector manager Andy Roberts says,

"Most people will have a great day at the coast. We want everyone to have fun and keep safe by following our safety advice.  You might want to remember the SAFE code below. Once you’ve done that, get ready, get out there and enjoy!"

  • Spot the dangers. Look out for dangers such as being cut off by the tide, unstable cliffs, soft mud and getting lost on crowded beaches. Know how to avoid them.
  • Always go with a friend. And make sure that your friend knows what to do in an emergency.
  • Find and read the emergency signs. Make sure that you obey them.  They’re there for a reason!
  • Emergency? Stick your hand up and shout, tell a lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
  • If you can, visit a lifeguarded beach, where advice and help in an emergency will be immediately at hand. Go to www.goodbeachguide.co.uk for information about lifeguarded beaches (opens in a new window).

General advice

  • Always keep your children in sight at the beach, especially toddlers. Even a small wave can knock a child over.
  • Check the weather and tides – don’t get swept away or cut off.  It’s easy to lose track of time when you are having fun rock pooling or exploring.
  • If your child is using an inflatable boat or toy, make sure they are being supervised and that the inflatable is secured to the shoreline and held by an adult. An inflatable can easily be blown away from the shore even with a slight breeze so don’t use it when it is windy, especially if there is an offshore breeze.
  • Keep clear of cliff edges and don’t climb them unless you are properly prepared with cliff climbing equipment.
  • Always swim close to the beach in line with the shore. Don't go alone.
  • If you are going afloat wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Don’t drink alcohol and then go into the water.
  • Take a method of communication with you.  If there is an emergency, contact a lifeguard if there is one available or call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
  • Don’t jump off cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea.


Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office - phone: 023 8032 9401