RNLI lifeguards based in Sidmouth visited Branscombe to deliver a Sea Safety talk to the whole school. They discussed how to stay safe and who could help them or others if they were unsafe by the coast.
They reminded the children that 999 can be used for the police, fire services, ambulance and coast guard.
The children were told that Lifeguards and Coast Guards (Lifeboat crew) have different roles. Lifeguards work 10am-6pm and they are active on the beaches, whereas Coast Guards/Lifeboat Crew are volunteers, so they have normal jobs but when their pager alerts them, they attend the emergency on the lifeboat.
The life guards came with lots of equipment and flags to help show the children all the different things that are involved. The first flags they discussed were the pair of red & yellow flags, between which it is safe to swim. An all-red flag shows us that the water is unsafe. A black and white flag shows the area that is safe for those using hard craft (ie. surfboards, bodyboards, kayaks etc) and that this area would not be safe for swimmers due to the hard crafts. The visitors explained how windsock helps lifeguards determine the strength and direction of the wind. They explained that the windsock flying out towards the sea means that there is an offshore wind, which would make it difficult and possibly dangerous for those using surf boards or inflatables, due to the offshore wind pushing them further out. The lifeguards also discussed their lifeguard flag which flies on the beach/above the hut, letting people know that a lifeguard is on duty. They encouraged the children to approach a lifeguard if they have questions about beach safety. They also discussed with the children ways that they can be vigilant about safety on a beach that is not patrolled by lifeguards, such as Branscombe beach, by looking carefully at the wind, the sea and the behaviour of others, staying close to shore and always making sure that adults are aware and able to watch out for them when they go into the sea.