SOUTH Tynesiders are being urged to stay safe over the bank holiday weekend.
Scores of families could head for the coast over the Easter weekend and RNLI lifeboat crews, which patrol the borough’s shores, are reminding people to stay safe.
Over the Easter and May Day weekends last year, the RNLI’s lifeboats launched 126 times to leisure boating incidents, rescuing 178 people.
Peter Chennell, the RNLI sea safety manager, said: “Last year, over half of RNLI lifeboat launches were to pleasure craft.
“We’re offering boaters some simple sea safety advice so that they can enjoy their first trip afloat during 2012.
“Don’t let mishaps ruin your day – check your boat, service the engine and carry spares.
“But accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced.
“So make sure you have a reliable means of calling for help and ensure your life-jacket and its gas bottles are in good condition.”
The RNLI has also issued top sea safety tips:
n Always wear a life-jacket.
n Get relevant training.
n Carry a means of calling for help.
n Check engine and fuel.
n Tell others where you are going.
n Check weather and tides.
For more sea safety information, visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety.