Rescue services urge visitors to stay safe on Scotland's beaches

The RNLI and Coastguard are urging beach visitors to stay safe this summer.The RNLI and Coastguard are urging beach visitors to stay safe this summer.
The RNLI and Coastguard are urging beach visitors to stay safe this summer.
The RNLI and HM Coastguard have launched a joint water safety campaign as figures reveal that more than 267,000 people visited RNLI lifeguarded beaches last summer.

With a recent survey revealing 35 million people are planning to visit UK coastal regions this summer, the charity’s lifesavers are expecting a busy summer ahead.

Last year, the RNLI in Scotland saw 267,191 visitors on their eight lifeguarded beaches and expect that number to increase this summer. And lifesavers saw 314 incidents and helped nearly 400 people on the eight beaches they patrol.

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Ahead of the summer holidays, the campaign is urging everyone to remember that if you get into trouble in the water, ‘Float to Live’. To do this: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.

In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.

In 2021, RNLI lifeboats in Scotland saw a 10% increase in launches compared to the previous year, with the crew witnessing an increase in paddleboarding incidents, as well as swimmer casualties.

Laura Erskine, RNLI water safety education manager for Scotland, said: “As the warmer weather appears and the school holidays begin, we expect to see Scotland’s beaches getting busier. It is important to remember how to keep you and your family safe this summer by following the simple advice of Float to Live.

“It’s important to remember that even though the weather is warmer, the water can still be significantly cold, so it is vitally important to take caution and remember to Float to Live if you get into trouble.

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‘RNLI lifeguarded beaches saw over 261,000 visitors in 2021, and our lifeguards aided nearly 400 people. It’s important that those visiting Scotland’s beaches this summer to remember to Float to Live, just following this simple piece of advice can be lifesaving.’

If you spot someone in difficulty in the water, you should not enter the water yourself. Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard and try to reassure the casualty by calling out to them and informing them to stay calm and float on their back.

For further information on the water safety campaign visit​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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