LIFEBOAT crews in Littlehampton are urging people to ‘respect the water’ as part of a regional safety campaign
The RNLI scheme, aim to raise awareness around water safety – particularly with men aged 25-65 who are most at risk – and ultimately reduce the number of people who drown in coastal waters.
Statistics show every year in the UK about 150 people die around the coast. This year alone, more than 200 people have already lost their lives in rivers, seas and other bodies of water – with many occurring in last month’s heat wave.
Fortunately, Littlehampton hasn’t seen so much tragedy. But, it still remains one of the most active RNLI stations in the south.
Last year saw a total of 50 launches by the town’s lifeboat crewmen, rescuing a total of 50 people.
Half the calls involved pleasure boats that got into difficulty, with 18 per cent of the calls involving people in the water, resulting in a total of three people being rescued.
Safety advice includes to swim on RNLI lifeguard beaches, not to swim alone and acclimatise to cold water gradually. If caught in a rip current remain calm. Don’t try to swim against. Swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.