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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Barrow Lifeboat Station gets behind campaign to cut number of deaths

THE latest nationwide campaign held by the RNLI hopes to lower the amount of coastal deaths.

With coastal deaths being at their highest level in four years, the RNLI is launching the Respect the Water campaign and Barrow’s Lifeboat Station is backing it.

John Falvey, the Lifeboat’s spokesman, said: “The campaign is aimed at people swimming because there are more people killed in casual swimming accidents than there are in adrenaline sports in the sea and rough weather.”

To date, Barrow Lifeboats have been launched 27 times this year and that includes launches by the all-weather lifeboat, Grace Dixon and the inshore lifeboat, Vision of Tamworth.

Chris Clouter, relief press officer for Barrow Lifeboat Station, said: “As we are now in the peak holiday season, combined with a spell of good weather, we would normally expect this to be a busy period for call-outs.”

Last year the lifeboats were called out 42 times in total, but Mr Falvey maintains that the calls for help are extremely sporadic.

He said: “Last year we were busier in spring and then it went quiet. In August we had 13 calls in eight days, which is really unusual.

“I don’t think the weather has given us any more incidents than last year yet, but people do need to maintain safety when dealing with the sea.

“People should never underestimate the power of the sea.”

There are a number of things that people can do to help ensure they stay safe on the beach this summer. These include:

  • Check the tides and stay within a safe distance of the shore.
  • Do not go out onto sandbanks
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back
  • Don't drink alcohol and then take to the water
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Parents need to be aware of where their children are at all times
  • Take note of any signs or flags indicating where it is or isn’t safe to go into the water.
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