CHILDREN from across Carmarthenshire have received invaluable RNLI lifeguard-led sessions to educate them on safety when spending time on the Welsh coastline.
The increasingly popular ‘Hit the Surf’ and ‘Meet the Lifeguards’ schemes run by the charity saw local children participate in lessons about beach safety and open water survival training.
The programmes – which are run across south and west Wales – saw nearly 9,000 youngsters take part in total.
The ‘Hit the Surf’ programme saw 2,740 children learn about beach safety and also pick up basic surf skills on beaches from New Quay in Ceredigion to Whitmore Bay on Barry Island. Meanwhile, 5,328 children took part in ‘Meet the Lifeguards’, a scheme which sees RNLI lifeguards visit schools to talk about beach safety, including: the meaning of beach flags; the dangers of rips and tides; what to do if they spot someone in trouble and what to do if they get into trouble themselves.
More than 160 14 and 15-year-olds also gained a Junior Surf Life Saving award by taking part in the Youth Education Programme, which is run by the RNLI and the Surf Life Saving Association.
Gareth King, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor and Community Engagement Supervisor, said: “This summer was a really busy one for our lifeguard teams in Wales as we introduced new services on seven beaches in Porthcawl, Gower and Denbighshire. So, to see this many children and young people learning how to stay safe at the beach in 2016 is a real credit to the lifeguards who delivered the sessions.”
RNLI Senior Lifeguard Manager Matt Horton said: “The focus of our lifeguard team is preventing incidents before they occur and an extension of that is educating young on how to stay safe in and around the water.”
For more information on beach safety, visit the RNLI website: www.rnli.org.