RNLI lifeguards will return to their posts at Wirral beaches this weekend ahead of the Easter holidays.
They are back at West Kirby, Moreton, Harrison Drive, The Plateux and Perch Rock in New Brighton from Saturday.
Daily safety patrols will be provided between the hours of 10am-6pm over the school Easter holidays.
Figures released today by the RNLI show that lifeguards assisted 17,978 people on North West beaches last summer. They responded to 1,550 incidents, the majority being over the busy summer months as thousands of people headed to the coast to enjoy a day out at the seaside after lockdown.
Over the past few weeks they have been training and practicing their skills so that they are ready to face what the upcoming season brings.
Peter Rooney, RNLI Regional Lifeguard Lead, said: "RNLI lifeguards are at the forefront of the charity's lifesaving work, as they keep beach visitors safe across the UK and Channel Islands.
"Last year's figures show the importance of our lifeguards and what they do for the public, we are expecting coastal areas to be just as busy in the summer season ahead.
"It is important to remember that our lifeguards can't be everywhere.
"Our lifeguards will be supported by the charity's 24/7 lifeboat service and water safety work, but we urge anyone visiting the coast to take responsibility for themselves and their family this summer."
Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, said: "Heading to coastal waters is a great way to have fun and stay active, especially during the summer months.
"But, weather conditions can change quickly and, if you’re not careful, you can easily get caught out.
"Taking basic precautions can greatly reduce the risk of getting into difficulty, and improve your chance of being found quickly should you need rescuing. With this in mind, we urge beach visitors to come dressed appropriately to ensure your visit is both safe and enjoyable.
"For activities like paddleboarding, we'd recommend you wear a wetsuit, as it will keep you warm in an emergency.
"Wearing an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket is also vital, and carry a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.’
The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice:
- Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
- Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
- Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water – don't allow your family to swim alone.
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, float to live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
- In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.