RNLI launch campaign to keep swimmers safe in Norfolk this year

A lifeboat. Picture: Cromer RNLI

A lifeboat. Picture: Cromer RNLI - Credit: Archant

With summer holidays just around the corner, many residents and visitors will be looking forward to visiting the Norfolk coast to enjoy the sun and sea.

But for every adult or child to step into the ocean, there comes a risk if the ocean and its dangers aren't fully appreciated.

This is why the RNLI has launched their latest campaign Float to Live, which encourages anyone who does get into trouble in cold water to turn onto their back and float, instead of trying to swim.

Professor Mike Tipton, the UK's leading cold water survival expert, and the RNLI found that in recent trials of 80 people, most found floating easier than expected.

Leaning back to keep the face and mouth above water, extending the arms and legs, moving hands and feet only as much is necessary and attempting to remain calm for a short time, all combine to greatly increase the chances of survival.

Further advice from the RNLI includes:

• Don't panic, resist your instinct to thrash about

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• Lean back and float. Keep your mouth out of the water

• If you need to, move your arms and legs to help you float

• Float until you can control your breathing

• Only then swim to safety or call for help

• Clothes can help with buoyancy – during the first moments in water air is trapped between the layers.

• Moving less helps the air stay trapped, helping you float

• Practice the survival skill of floating in your local swimming pool

• If you see someone in danger in the water at the coast, don't go in after them – instead call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard