Warning after 31 deaths on North’s coast

Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat
Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat

Summer seaside visitors are being warned to take care after figures reveal that 31 people lost their lives on the north England coast last year.

Figures from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show 31 people died in incidents at the coast, with 61% of them not even setting out to enter the water in the first place.

The number of near-misses was even higher, with the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards saving 89 lives in the North East in 2014. The figures have been revealed as part of the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, warning people that our coastlines and waters can be dangerously unpredictable.

The charity is also releasing two hard-hitting campaign films, which will be shown in cinemas from tomorrow. The five-year figures show an average of 24 coastal deaths a year in the north.

Michael Avril, RNLI community incident reduction manager for the north of England, said: “We’re warning people that if they’re going near the water, whatever their activity, they could be at risk and they need to take care. Unexpected dangers like slippery rocks, sudden waves or unstable ground can catch anyone out.”