Sunderland children get lesson in beach safety

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YOUNGSTERS are getting lessons in life-saving to keep them safe on the beach.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is working in partnership with Sunderland City Council to teach school children vital water safety messages, through interactive workshops.

They started in October and by the time they finish next month, the lifeguards will have visited about 70 schools and talked to more than 11,500 children, between the ages of five and eleven, about how to spot potential hidden dangers around open water, what to do in an emergency and how to raise the alarm.

Youngsters will also get a chance to take part in the Hit the Surf programme when it returns to Sunderland this summer.

Nick Campbell, RNLI lifeguard supervisor community engagement, said: “The talks really bring our safety messages to life in the children’s minds. We take some of our rescue equipment into the schools and also encourage each group to ask lots of questions.

“The pupils are always brimming with enthusiasm after the workshops and can’t wait to go home to share their new water safety knowledge with friends and families.”

Sunderland councillor John Kelly added: “Here in Sunderland we have fantastic beaches and a great riverside for everyone to enjoy in a fun, but safe way.

“We should always respect water whether it’s the sea, river, lake or even a garden pond.”