RNLI prepares for its busiest weekend

LIFEBOAT crews are bracing themselves for what is traditionally their busiest weekend of the year.

LIFEBOAT crews are bracing themselves for what is traditionally their busiest weekend of the year.

RNLI East Anglian lifeboat crews and lifeguards are expecting holidaymakers to flock to the coast this bank holiday weekend.

The last three August bank holiday weekends have seen East Anglian volunteer lifeboat crews launch 81 times and rescue 69 people, while lifeguards have responded to 68 incidents and helped 71 people. In 2008 alone volunteer crews launched 33 times, rescuing 18 people.

This year, with more people likely to be holidaying in the UK, the RNLI anticipates being busier than ever.

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Steve Wills, beach safety manager, said: “This bank holiday, especially if the weather is good, we fully expect to see lots of people making their way to the coast.

“Sadly, there have been a number of fatalities and serious incidents around the coast already this summer, so we hope people will take notice of our advice so they can have fun but stay safe at the same time.”

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Holidaymakers are advised to check the weather and tide times and take notice of the safety signs at the beach entrance.

Children should be supervised at all times, especially when in or near the water, and anyone who starts to struggle in the water should stick their hand in the air and shout for help.

Mr Wills added: “If they see someone else in trouble, they should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard, but should not attempt a rescue themselves.”

Peter Chennell, sea safety manager, said: “Our advice is not meant to spoil the fun of water users, but it is founded on the years of experience of RNLI lifeboat crews, who know how unpredictable the weather can be and how quickly things can go wrong at sea.”

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