Caution at seaside
2:07pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Letters
ONCE more we find the RNLI and lifeguards risking their lives to rescue souls from the sea.
At this time of year all rescue services are stretched to the limit, especially during school holidays, when parents take their children to the seaside.
Regrettably, holiday-makers from towns and countryside only experience the sea occasionally.
They can be unaware of the state of the tide, other than it comes in and goes out, the times of high and low water, whether it is Springs or Neaps or the prevalence of rip tides etc.
Children can be good swimmers in their local swimming- pool, where the temperature is acceptable to their bodies, but in the sea there is a dramatic difference between their body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius and sea water of 11 degrees Celsius or less. Prolonged immersion can lead to hypothermia.
For many people visiting the seaside, the daily/weekly tide tables and local forecast conditions and warnings posted on notice-boards by the lifeguards are just notices for others, and in many cases ignored.
There is now a scheme started this summer by the ASA in conjunction with the RNLI in Bude, Cornwall, to teach children how to swim safely in the sea and how to call for help if needed, and to demonstrate the safe areas to swim i.e. between the safe water flags. This scheme, if successful will be extended throughout the UK.