Water safety first
Written by Scott McGerty on 15th June 2018
Hundreds of youngsters from schools across Sunderland are learning valuable water safety lessons that could help save lives.
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) has been at Seaburn beach over the last few weeks running 28 ‘Hit the Surf’ sessions for 8 – to 11 year old primary school pupils.
The programme offers a unique opportunity for school children and youth groups to get practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety at one of the North East’s most beautiful beaches.
RNLI Lifeguards are on patrol at Seaburn and Roker beaches until September, seven days a week 10am – 6pm, providing both a visible reminder that people need to be careful in and around the water and a re-assuring presence on the seafront for visitors.
The Hit the Surf sessions are part of Sunderland’s annual water safety programme which has seen the RNLI joining forces with the City Council and the RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) to promote water safety.
This has included water safety lessons in schools to more than 150,000 pupils since 1994.
Sunderland City Council leads the Water Safety Partnership which includes the RNLI, the RLSS, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police, Everyone Active and other community partners to promote water safety messages and put practical life saving measures in place alongside open water.
Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture Councillor John Kelly said lots of children were excited to get involved it the activity.
“We’re delighted so many children are getting the opportunity to take part in the ‘Hit The Surf’ training.
“Sessions like these are a really good way of helping children to get a better understanding of how to stay safe around water.
“We’re very lucky to have such a fantastic seafront and we want people to enjoy everything it has to offer but at the same time to be aware of the dangers too, which is why we’re working with the RNLI and the RLSS to raise awareness.”