‘Always take care near the water’ - Nigel Snowshall column

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 June 2020

Nigel Snowshall of Exmouth Beach Rescue Club

Nigel Snowshall of Exmouth Beach Rescue Club

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Nigel Snowshall writes about the need for poeple to take care near the water

Nigel Snowshall of Exmouth Beach Rescue ClubNigel Snowshall of Exmouth Beach Rescue Club

With the most recent update to the governments Covid-19 control measures, it has been suggested that the water is now open for use.

The volunteers at Exmouth Beach Rescue Club, like many others, love the water for its health and wellbeing benefits, however, we are urging people to be responsible and not rush in to the water.

There is currently no lifeguard provision on UK beaches, in Exmouth, this usually takes the form of Exmouth Beach Rescue’s volunteer patrols on Sundays and bank holidays to the east of Maer Rocks and Orcombe Point, and the summer season daily RNLI Lifeguard service to the west of the lifeboat station.

Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSGB) is the national governing body for Surf Life Saving and provides training, accreditation and insurance to clubs like Exmouth Beach Rescue. Their current advice is that while the Government alert level is at level four, there should be no lifeguard patrol as the health of lifeguards cannot be guaranteed.

In the interim, SLSGB are introducing a beach warden role and Exmouth Beach Rescue volunteers will be fulfilling this role. It allows us to observe the beach at dangerous times, offer safety advice and if the worst happens, coordinate a response with the relevant emergency service. Unfortunately, we will not be able to perform rescues or offer first aid in the short term.

Staying Safe at the Beach.

● There are no lifeguards on our beaches

● Protect Your Family - children should be within arms’ reach at all times

● Follow safety advice – stay together, don’t use inflatables and be aware of tide times and weather conditions

● Maintain social distancing

● Go prepared to treat your families’ minor first aid requirements such as cuts and grazes

● In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

The water is still very cold around 12C, if you do fall in, it will make you gasp, and breathe fast. You should keep calm and float on your back until you get your breath back, this could take 60-90 seconds. If you can get back to safety, doggy paddle keeping arms under the water. If not, shout for help and wait for rescue staying as calm as possible.

For safety information go to: http://exmouthbrc.org/safety


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