Stay Safe and follow the RNLI's safety advice at the beach this summer.

The British coastline is blessed with stunning beaches, seaside towns and miles of coastal walking paths. With more of us choosing to holiday at home this year due to travel restrictions, the great British tradition of visiting the seaside is back with a boom!  

WCF Chandlers have been servicing coastal towns and communities across East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire with home heating oil and commercial fuels since 1935, we pride ourselves on providing truly outstanding service to all our customers, regardless of size.  As an established, private company, partly owned by its employees, we are proud to not only support these coastal communities with their fuel needs, but to also provide employment opportunities for locals.

Whilst Britain’s coastline is full of stunning seaside spots for all the family to enjoy, there are also many hidden dangers. Read our blog for beach safety tips to help you keep your family safe by the seaside this summer. 

Look out for the flags 

 Always obey instructions from lifeguards and encourage your children to look for the coloured flags.

What do the flags mean? 

  • Red and Yellow Flags – The area between these flags are patrolled by lifeguards and this is the safest place to swim.
  • Black and white chequered flags -The areas between these flags are for water sports, you should not swim in these areas.
  • An orange windsock – this signifies a strong wind. The RNLI says inflatables should not be used in these conditions. 
  • Red Flag – This flag indicated that it is dangerous to go in the water.

Tide checks 

Check the local tide times before you set off to the beach, making sure that you are aware of both the high and low tide times to avoid getting caught out. You can find out more about tide times   metoffice.gov.uk/weather/guides/coast-and-sea/beach-and-tide-times

Beware of rip currents

Rip currents are a strong, localised, and narrow current of water that moves directly away from the shore out to deeper water, like a river running from the shoreline out to sea. 

How to spot a rip current 

Rip currents can be difficult to spot but they may differ in colour from the surrounding water; it is often more opaque, cloudier, or muddier, and so, depending on the angle of the sun, the rip may show as darker or lighter than the surrounding water. The surface of the rip sometimes looks foamy because the current is carrying foam from the surf out to open water, it may also be carrying beach debris, such as seaweed or other floating objects on its surface. 

What to do if you are caught in a rip current? 

The best way to avoid rips is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags. The RNLI advise those caught in a rip current to stay calm and conserve energy. 

  • Don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted. 
  • If you can stand, wade don’t swim. If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore.
  • Always raise your hand and shout for help. 

Stay together

Stay close, remember that even shallow water can quickly knock you off your feet – stay within arm’s reach of little ones whenever you’re in or near the water. 

Slap on the sunscreen

 Apply a high factor sun cream before heading to the beach, apply throughout the day and after swimming. Whilst sunscreen will offer some protection, covering yourself and your little one with loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat will offer better protection than sunscreen alone. 

Stay in the shade

It can be hard to find much shade at the beach, so bring something you can use to create your own, such as tents or sunshades. Encourage little ones to play in the shade between 11 am-3 pm when the sun is at its strongest. 

Keep hydrated 

Make sure you have access to drinks all day – remember that sun and wind can dehydrate you quickly at the beach, even on colder days. 

And Finally Don't go in the sea after drinking alcohol!

For more information on how to stay safe visit - https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety