Father who risked own life to save children drifting out to sea issues warning of dangers

The RNLI is issuing water safety advice as temperatures along the coast soar.

Ben Longley and his family safely on the beach at Ingoldmells after rescuing two children drifting out to sea in a dinghy. He describes his terrifying battle against the current to warn parents of the dangers of the sea and urge them to keep their children close. See this week's Skegness Standard for full story.
Ben Longley and his family safely on the beach at Ingoldmells after rescuing two children drifting out to sea in a dinghy. He describes his terrifying battle against the current to warn parents of the dangers of the sea and urge them to keep their children close. See this week's Skegness Standard for full story.

They are reminding people of the dangers of cold water shock, which can seriously affect breathing and movement, and can occur in any water temperature below 15c.

According to statistics, over half of those who get into danger at the coast each year never planned to enter the water – slips, trips and falls being a significant problem.

Anyone getting into trouble is urged to ‘Float to Live’.

This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, then calling for help or swimming to safety.

In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard, or the fire and rescue service if you are inland.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI said: ‘With another heatwave forecast for this weekend, we want to remind everyone to stay safe when visiting the

coast.

‘With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks. The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still cold.

‘The sea temperature around the UK and Ireland rarely gets above 15 degrees, and the risk of cold water shock significantly increases as air temperatures rise.

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.’

The East of England coastline gets incredibly busy during the hot weather, with just under 637,000 visitors in the region alone last year.

Already several incidents have been reported along the Lincolnshire coast, including rescues involving inflatables.

East of England RNLI supervisor said: “We world always advise people who want to go in water to use a lifeguarded beach and stay inside the red and yellow flags.

"Inflatables are always best used in a pool rather than the sea, but they are especially dangerous when the wind is blowing offshore, which will be indicated by the orange wind sock which is flown above the unit when there is an offshore wind.”.

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found at rnli.org/find-my-