Trouble by seaside? We’ve an App for that

Library photo of RNLI lifeguards on patrol.
Library photo of RNLI lifeguards on patrol.
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A NEW mobile phone app has been launched in a bid to help youngsters stay safe on Wearside beaches this summer.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), whose lifeguards patrol at Seaburn and Roker, has created the “beach finder” app to provide vital information on water quality and hazard information on waves, winds and tidal cut off points or rip currents.

It also features real-time weather information and a five-day forecast, as well as locating the user’s position and listing the nearest patrolled beaches.

Chris Mason, lifeguard supervisor for Tyne and Wear, said the app was a vital tool for beach-goers, but stressed they also needed to follow simple safety advice.

“Always swim at a lifeguarded beach such as Roker or Seaburn, between the red and yellow flags,” he said.

“This area is patrolled by lifeguards every day throughout the school summer holidays from 10am to 6pm.

“RNLI lifeguards would like every visitor to the coast to have a safe and enjoyable time at our marvellous beaches.”

Meanwhile, the charity is calling on families and children to take care when visiting the coast. Last year, young people accounted for 61 per cent of RNLI incidents.

Surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing and windsurfing, swimming, inflatable toys and coastal walking are among the top call outs.

Ross Macleod, RNLI beach safety programmes manager, said: “With the weather set to get better, it’s likely people will want to head to the beach.

“The RNLI’s advice is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards.”

The RNLI has two safety guides which are available free-of-charge.

On The Beach is aimed at families and is full of tips on how to stay safe as well as games ideas.

In The Surf includes safety and kit information for surf sports.

“For anyone who can’t get to a lifeguarded beach, there are some straightforward steps they can take to help keep themselves out of danger,” said Mr Macleod.

“They can find out about their chosen beach, check the weather and tide times, and follow the advice shown on safety signs at the beach entrance.”

Both guides are available from or by calling 0800 328 0600.

For more information about the app, visit

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho

To help people remember their seaside trips for the right reasons, the RNLI is offering the following top five beach safety tips:

1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags;

2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas;

3. Check weather and tide times before you go;

4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help;

5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard.

If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

For those who can’t make it to a lifeguarded beach, the charity’s advice is as follows:

1. Find out about your chosen beach before you go at;

2. Check weather 
and tides before you go;

3. Read the safety signs at the beach entrance to make yourself aware of specific local hazards;

4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help;

5. If you see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard but don’t attempt a rescue yourself.