As the summer holidays arrive HM Coastguard and the RNLI in Bridlington are launching an initiative to help lost children be reunited with their parents or guardians.
Last summer Lifeguards and Coastguard Rescue teams helped to reunite 130 children who had become lost across their North Yorkshire and East Riding beaches.
This year the two organisations are joining forces to promote a wristband safety scheme aimed at reducing that number. Parents and guardians are being encouraged to use the free wristbands which have space to add your mobile phone number meaning a found child can then be reunited with a simple phone call.
Wristbands will be available from all RNLI Lifeguard and Lifeboat Stations and will be carried by all Coastguard Rescue vehicles.
Dave Scott, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said “RNLI Lifeguards are often in position where children are brought to the lifeguard hut having being found by a member of the public on the beach, we then must wait for a parent to make contact with either ourselves or the Coastguard to be able to reunite them. This can be a traumatic and stressful time for both adults and children, the use of wristbands could help to reduce the time of the separation and provide reassurance to parents that their child is safe much earlier.”
Fran Wilkins, HM Coastguard Senior Coastal Operations Officer, said “Young children can quickly become disorientated on busy beaches and quickly get upset once they realise they are lost in unfamiliar surroundings. By working with the RNLI to have the wristbands easily accessible as people arrive on the beach we hope to make them a familiar sight and become something families will seek out for their children to ensure they can enjoy the beach safely.”
If you notice your child is missing dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard and inform a lifeguard if you see one on duty.