'Float don't fight' urges RNLI

Andy Volans with Andy Hogg, Matthew Kaiser and Matt Jones illustrating how to survive in a controlled manner. pic Richard Ponter 171814b
Andy Volans with Andy Hogg, Matthew Kaiser and Matt Jones illustrating how to survive in a controlled manner. pic Richard Ponter 171814b

People frolicking in the waves on a hot day is a sight that can be seen on every sunny, or even slightly warm, day in Scarborough.

What many of those in the water do not know however, is what to do if they should find themselves in trouble,

Scarborough RNLI is joining with its national partners to promote the ‘fight your instincts, not the water’ campaign.

In 2016, 11 people lost their lives in the water surrounding the Yorkshire coast.

An RNLI spokesman said: “Sudden immersion in water any temperature below 15C puts people at severe risk of cold water shock.

"This triggers the instinctive but life-threatening reaction to gasp uncontrollably, thrash about and try to swim hard.

"This reaction is the worst thing to do and can quickly lead to drowning as it increases the chance of water entering the lungs, increases strain on the heart, cools the skin and reduces buoyancy by letting air escape from clothing.

“The RNLI’s advice is to float for around 60-to-90 seconds – the time it takes for the effects of the cold shock to pass and for you to regain control of your breathing. The recommended floating position is to lean back in the water and keep your airway clear while keeping calm to maintain breathing levels.

"You should then be in a better position to attempt to swim to safety or call for help.”