RNLI issues reminder about what to do if struggling in water

Ahead of the peak summer season when British waters, particularly those in Devon and Cornwall, get busy, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) issued an essential reminder on X (formerly Twitter) on June 5th that could make all the difference if you find yourself struggling in the water this summer. 

Their message was clear and impactful: “Do you know which five-letter word could save your life? Float. #FloatToLive until we arrive, day or night.”

The RNLI’s #FloatToLive campaign aims to educate the public on the life-saving technique of floating if they get into trouble in the water. 

Floating helps you stay calm and conserve energy while you wait for rescue, which reduces the risk of drowning.

Why Floating Works

When you unexpectedly fall into the water, your instinct might be to thrash about or swim hard to safety, but this can lead to exhaustion and panic. 

Floating, on the other hand, helps you catch your breath, regain control, and signal for help. 

The RNLI recommends lying on your back, keeping your airway clear, and gently moving your limbs to stay afloat. 

This technique increases your survival chances significantly until help arrives!

Practical Steps to Float

  1. Stay Calm: Try not to panic. Keep your breathing steady and focus on staying relaxed.
  2. Lean Back: Lie on your back and spread your arms and legs to increase buoyancy.
  3. Keep Airway Clear: Tilt your head back and keep your face above water.
  4. Move Gently: Use slow, controlled movements to help you stay afloat.
  5. Signal for Help: Raise one arm if you can to attract attention.

Why the #FloatToLive Campaign Matters

The RNLI’s campaign is crucial as it addresses a common emergency scenario. 

Whether you’re at the beach, by a river, or even in a pool, knowing how to float can be the key to survival. 

The campaign targets all age groups, emphasising that anyone can find themselves in need of this life-saving skill – they used the example of two fishermen who fell in the water in their Tweet. By promoting the simple act of floating, the RNLI aims to reduce drowning incidents and save lives across the UK.

Real-Life Impact

There have been numerous instances where individuals have survived water emergencies by floating. In fact, when I found myself caught in a rip last summer, I stayed still and let myself float until the water’s force had lessened. 

Public awareness and education about floating can make a significant difference too!

Want to spread the message?

You can get involved with the FloatToLive campaign on X – see all posts with the hashtag here. Share your stories and tweet reminders about the importance of floating in the seas this summer!

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