Lifeboat crew and lifeguards were no match for the tonne of water on Porthcawl’s seafront last week as the charity presents a timely reminder for the public to Respect the Water this summer.
The cubic meter of water – weighing one tonne – has been put on display in Porthcawl and Tenby to help people realise how heavy a relatively small volume of water is.
Coastal fatality figures showed that 20 people lost their lives around the Welsh coast last year, the highest number since 2011. The number of near-fatal incidents was even higher, with the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards in Wales saving 78 lives in 2015.
The tonnes of water support the charity’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024. The RNLI safety campaign highlights the dangers of cold water shock and rip currents as well as reminding people to be prepared when visiting the coast.
Nicola Davies, South Wales Community Reduction Manager said, ‘I would like to challenge everyone visiting Porthcawl and Tenby this summer to have a go and see if they can push the tonne of water – it’s heavier than you think!
‘People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable. If you’re planning to get into the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers.’
Jacob Davies, South Wales Lifeguard Manager offers the following advice, ‘RNLI lifeguards are ready at their posts between 10am-6pm every day on beaches across South Wales this summer. The lifeguards are there to help, so please come over and say hi at the start of your day. The lifeguards will be able to offer advice of the best places to swim as well as advise you of the tidal movements and how that can affect the nature of the beach throughout the day.’
For more information please visit Respect The Water.