To get the most out of your trip, have fun, and stay safe, make sure you check the weather and tides before heading out so that you know the sea conditions. Tide times in the UK vary around the coast depending on the position of the moon, sun and various other influences. There’s so much to tides, so make sure you understand what the differences mean and how they could affect your trip.
It’s always best to visit a lifeguarded beach if possible. You can search for your nearest lifeguarded beach on the RNLI website. Always make sure you keep an eye on children and ask your beach if they have a local wristband scheme which helps identify and reunite lost children should they wander off.
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags: Find out more on safety flags on the RLSS website.
- Leave inflatables at home: Inflatables can quickly be swept out to sea by currents and offshore winds, making them very dangerous when used at the beach. If you get swept out to sea, stay with your inflatable and shout for help. If you see an inflatable that’s been blown out to sea, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
- Rip currents: These are difficult to spot and even the most experienced swimmers can be caught off-guard. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t fight against it or try to swim back to shore – instead swim parallel to the shore until you’re free from the rip current.
- Float to live: If you get into difficulty in the water, fight your instinct to panic or thrash around. Spread your arms and legs outwards to form a star shape and float until you can control your breathing. Only then call for help.
- Digging in the sand: although usually harmless, digging large holes can be dangerous if the sand caves in. Avoid digging tunnels or deep pits below waist height and fill in any holes you dig before you leave the beach.