Mayor joins RNLI lifeguards in urging public to keep water safety in mind on beaches

Mayor joins RNLI lifeguards in urging public to keep water safety in mind on beaches

Tue, August 22, 2023

The Mayor of the Causeway Coast and Glens Council has joined with RNLI lifeguards to remind the public to always keep water safety in mind when visiting the beach.

It comes as the RNLI lifeguards prepare to cease their daily patrols on Sunday, September 3 and move to weekend cover on Benone, Portrush West, Portrush East and Whiterocks beaches, before finishing up on Sunday, September 24 for the season.

With schools set to reopen and the traditional holiday season drawing to a close, the numbers attending beaches will decrease and the weather will turn cooler. However, in recent years there has been a growth in people engaging in water-based activities year-round, with the increasing popularity of open water swimming and paddle-boarding.

Mayor, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “The RNLI lifeguards do a fantastic job keeping people who use our beautiful beaches safe. Last year, RNLI lifeguards along the Causeway Coast and in County Down saved 13 lives, aided over 450 people and responded to over 300 incidents.

“With their daily patrols set to come to an end for the season, it is imperative that those people who engage in water-based activities heed the safety advice provided by the RNLI. It could ultimately save your life.”

The public are being asked to be mindful of rip currents, which are strong currents running out to sea and can quickly drag people and debris away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water. Rip currents can be difficult to spot, but are sometimes identified by a channel of flat, darker water surrounded by churning, choppy water on the sea's surface.

If you do find yourself caught in a rip current:

  • 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.

If you are swimming:

  • Water temperatures are still cold at this time of the year, consider wearing a wetsuit to stay warm
  • Acclimatise slowly
  • Wear a bright swimming cap and consider a tow float to increase your visibility
  • Never swim alone and always ensure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague

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. And finally, in an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The Mayor has chosen RNLI as his official charity for the year ahead.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and on inland waters and has a vision to save every one. Due to an increasing number of visitors around the UK and Irish waters, the charity’s work has never been more important.

To donate to the Mayor’s charity, visit

For more information about the charity and its work, please visit the RNLI at

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan pictured with RNLI lifeguards Callum Know, Freya MacFarlane and Ben Scott and Portrush East Strand.