Safety campaign launched at Barry Island beach
12:29pm Monday 19th May 2014 in News
A CAMPAIGN aimed at keeping children safe this summer is being launched by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute at Whitmore Bay.
The RNLI is focussing its campaign around the Barry Island beach, the busiest of the charity’s 32 Welsh beaches, where during the two previous summers lifeguards assisted in 200 incidents involving missing children.
The charity is appealing to people visiting the beach to listen to vital advice to ensure they don’t become a statistic over the break.
The RNLI is drawing up a community action plan working with partners including South Wales Police.
One of the main issues will be cutting down on the number of incidents involving lost children, however other issues include targeting anti-social behaviour and enforcing the no drinking zone on the beach.
Nicola Davies, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager said: "The RNLI is not insinuating Whitmore is a particularly dangerous beach, far from it.
"We certainly don’t want to stop people enjoying the beautiful Welsh coastline, however, the RNLI was shocked to see such a notable number of incidents which are so very easily preventable - missing children for example.
"There are some very simple steps people can take to ensure they can enjoy the beach safely over the holiday period. This year the RNLI will be working with key partners and stakeholders to reduce these incidents by educating the public in the dangers and how to safe at the beach."
One of the main initiatives which has been very well received by the public is the introduction of wristbands given out free to families visiting beaches which are patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.
Families are advised to pay a visit to the lifeguard hut on arrival at the beach where they will be offered a wristband to put on their child’s arm which displays contact details.
South Wales Police are supporting the initiative and will have dedicated community support officers on the beach every weekend to hand out wristbands and offer advice about agreed meetings points should children become separated from their parents.
As an added safety measure at Whitmore, large numbers have been painted on the wall of the promenade which can be written on the band to help lifeguards return missing children to their parents.