Beach advice from the RNLI during the heatwave

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The hot weather has prompted the RNLI to urge people visiting beaches on the Dee estuary to stay safe.

West Kirby Lifeboat has been called out twice this week – taking part in a search for two missing young boys who got separated from their grandmother, and responding to reports of people in the water at Little Eye. In both cases, those involved were found safe and well after making it ashore.

On Monday, Hoylake RNLI hovercraft launched when six children on paddleboards were feared to have been swept out to sea by the outgoing tide in Leasowe Bay. They were located 700 metres offshore and rescued.

The following afternoon, the hovercraft launched again when six people were reportedly cut off by the flooding tide in Leasowe Bay. Arriving on scene, the Hoylake RNLI crew found that five of the casualties had waded ashore through the rapidly filling tidal gutter, while one person was left cut off on the sandbank. The casualty was brought on board the hovercraft, before being flown ashore and passed to the coastguard.

On Wednesday 6 September, the RNLI hovercraft was tasked for a third time when another person became cut off by the flooding tide in the same area, although they made it safely ashore with help from the coastguard.

The RNLI is reminding people that Leasowe Bay is no longer being patrolled, while West Kirby, Moreton, Harrison Drive, The Plateaux and New Brighton are only serviced of a weekend until 24 September.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead: “As the peak season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and with a reduction of lifeguarded beaches, we’re asking people to continue to take care and be aware of the dangers.

“If you are planning on swimming at a lifeguarded beach, we highly recommend you swim between the red and yellow flags as this is the safest area and is most closely monitored by lifeguards.

“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can.

“With warmer weather many may make the most of the evenings and in recent weeks there has been an increase in paddleboard rescues. When using paddleboards, please remember to avoid offshore winds, wear a buoyancy aid, carry a phone in a waterproof pouch and to wear an appropriate leash to reduce the chance of separation from your board.”