It's going to be a schorcher this weekend - so if you are heading for the beach please take onboard the advice of the emergency services and stay safe at the seaside.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and HM Coastguard have launched a new beach safety campaign in Wales, urging parents to protect their families by following key safety advice to save lives this summer.

With previously announced changes by the Welsh Government coming into effect, it is important that any trip to the beach this summer is met with caution and the message from the RNLI is clear; always follow Welsh Government advice and keep yourself and your family safe.

RNLI lifeguards resumed patrols on 14 beaches in Wales last month, including Poppit Sands and Newport Sands in the Tivyside area.

Lifeguards at Poppit were in action almost immediately on their return, rescuing a kayaker who had got into trouble.

RNLI lifeguards returned to a further 12 beaches in Wales last month including Llangrannog, Tresaith and Aberporth.

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard said: “We know from sad experience that whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability of experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does. Now, more than ever we need people to respect the sea and the coast.”

“If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid. But coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and we all need to follow the rules.

Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Wales, said: “It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the hazards of the environment and you must take more responsibility for you and your family this summer. No one ever goes to the coast to be rescued yet RNLI lifeguards rescue 1000s each year.”

Following key safety advice will keep people safe and help to reduce the demands placed on RNLI lifeboat crews, lifeguards, HM Coastguard and other emergency services.

If you can, visit a lifeguarded beach. But wherever you are:

  • l Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • l Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • l Don’t allow your family to swim alone
  • l Don’t use inflatables
  • l 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
  • l In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard