'Float To Live' advice following good weather on the coast

July 26, 2021

With the warm weather set to continue, and an increase in residents undertaking water-based activities, the RNLI is reminding people to float to live if you get into difficulty and call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in an emergency.

It is a message that has been echoed by the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy, Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS.  

Drowning has taken 2.5 million lives around the world in the last decade and most of those deaths were largely preventable. This week will see the RNLI mark the first ever World Drowning Prevention Day – an initiative being used to increase knowledge of coastal safety advice.

The very first World Drowning Prevention Day follows a recently adopted UN resolution on drowning prevention, acknowledging the issue for the first time in its 75-year history.  

The RNLI’s beach safety advice includes: 

- Check the weather forecast, tide times, and read local hazard signage.
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float. 
- In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. 

Making clear the need to appraise yourself of the advice before visiting the constituency’s coastal resorts, Mrs. Finch-Saunders said:  “As the warm weather continues, and the summer season kicks into gear, it is a welcome sight to see people return to our beautiful coastal regions and lakes.

“However, with the RNLI making clear that around 650 people drown worldwide every day, which is roughly equal to one life lost to drowning every two minutes, it is vital that knowledge of the relevant safety advice improves. 

“This is why I am also using this moment to highlight the need to improve our knowledge of the safety advice. With this in mind, and should you fall into the water unexpectedly, please listen to our lifesaving institution and 'Float To Live' by leaning back and extending your arms and legs. 

“I also wish to pay tribute to the dedication and hard work of our local lifeboat crews and Coastguard teams. We shall always be indebted to their assistance in our times of need.

“However, many water-based incidents are preventable and so I echo their calls for visitors to check the weather forecast, tide times and read all hazard signage to understand local risks.”