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Do you know how to stay safe in the sea? Take the quiz to be beach-ready this summer

·7-min read
  1. When is the sea at its coldest?

    1. Spring.

    2. Summer.

    3. Autumn.

  2. How many beaches in the UK have an RNLI lifeguard service?

    1. More than 240.

    2. 83.

    3. The sandiest ones.

  3. How do you know if the swimming conditions are dangerous at a RNLI lifeguarded beach?

    1. If there are lifeguards present and red flags are flying.

    2. If nobody else is in the water.

    3. If there are angry seagulls circling over the water.

  4. What should you do if you spot someone struggling in the water?

    1. Dive in and save them.

    2. Call 999 or 112.

    3. Ask them to swim to you.

  5. They might keep you warmer in the chilly British water, but what else do wetsuits actually do?

    1. Make you look cool.

    2. Protect you from fish.

    3. Help you to float.

  6. What should you do if you start to struggle during your swim?

    1. Fight the waves to get back to shore.

    2. Stay calm, float on your back, and try to get someone’s attention.

    3. Go underwater.

  7. What bold colours feature on the RNLI lifeboats?

    1. Pink and purple.

    2. Black and yellow.

    3. Orange and blue.

  8. How fast can a rip current flow?

    1. 5mph.

    2. 1mph.

    3. 15mph.

  9. When do tides rise and fall?

    1. At 9am and 2pm.

    2. Roughly twice per day, but not at a set time across the country.

    3. Every hour on the hour.

  10. Where is it easier to float in the water?

    1. In a pool.

    2. In a lake.

    3. In the sea.

  11. What is one way to spot a rip current?

    1. Debris on the surface floating away from shore.

    2. Giant waves.

    3. Loads of fish.

  12. What should you do if you get caught in a rip current?

    1. Get out of the rip current by swimming parallel to the shore.

    2. Swim directly against the current back to shore.

    3. Yell for help.

  13. When should you take inflatable toys out into the sea?

    1. If there’s a lifeguard.

    2. In the summer.

    3. Never.

Solutions

1:A - At spring time, even though the air temperature is warming up, the sea will be at its coldest. Average UK sea temperatures are about 12C and cold water shock is possible at anything under 15C., 2:A - The RNLI aims to provide lifeguards on more than 240 beaches at the height of the school summer holidays and it has more than 1,000 lifeguards, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find somewhere to swim safely in the summer., 3:A - RNLI lifeguards will put up red flags to signal the sea is too dangerous. If red and yellow flags are flying, the area in between these is where RNLI lifeguards have deemed the safest place to swim. If nobody else is swimming and there’s nobody to look out for you, it’s not worth the risk!, 4:B - If somebody seems to be finding it hard to swim, you should always call the emergency services first. Don’t attempt a rescue yourself, as you might also get caught out. If possible, look for public rescue equipment such as a throw bag to pass to them for assistance. , 5:C - Wetsuits are made of neoprene and have tiny pockets of air that help the wearer to float if they need to., 6:B - It’s dangerous to panic and try to fight currents. Lying back and trying to attract the attention of people onshore is safest. Remember: float to live!, 7:C - If you’re waiting for a lifeboat for yourself or someone else, look out for the RNLI’s signature orange and blue colourway., 8:A - Up to 5mph – which may not sound like a lot, but it’s actually faster than an Olympic swimmer!, 9:B - Tide times change daily, which is why it’s so important to check schedules online for your exact location., 10:C - The sea’s salt content makes it far easier to float than in fresh water., 11:A - If you see debris on the surface floating away from shore, there’s likely a strong rip current underneath – stay away! Another way to avoid rip currents is to try only to swim between the red and yellow flags on lifeguarded beaches., 12:A - There’s no use fighting a rip current – they’re faster than even the strongest swimmers. The best thing to do is either relax and float while signalling for help, or if you are feeling strong, swim parallel to the shore, and use breaking waves to push you back to the beach., 13:C - Inflatable toys can easily be swept out to sea by offshore winds or currents. They’re designed for relaxing in the pool – so avoid taking them to the beach!

Scores

  1. 13 and above.

    Lifeguard-in-training : not bad at all! You’ve clearly got real respect and love for the water, and you know how to keep yourself and others safe. Still, stay sharp, as nobody is ever done learning.

  2. 12 and above.

    Lifeguard-in-training : not bad at all! You’ve clearly got real respect and love for the water, and you know how to keep yourself and others safe. Still, stay sharp, as nobody is ever done learning.

  3. 11 and above.

    Lifeguard-in-training : not bad at all! You’ve clearly got real respect and love for the water, and you know how to keep yourself and others safe. Still, stay sharp, as nobody is ever done learning.

  4. 9 and above.

    Hit the books before the seaside. While your knowledge of the water is pretty good, you could benefit from learning a little more before you dive in. Visit the RNLI website for more information.

  5. 8 and above.

    Hit the books before the seaside. While your knowledge of the water is pretty good, you could benefit from learning a little more before you dive in. Visit the RNLI website for more information.

  6. 7 and above.

    Hit the books before the seaside. While your knowledge of the water is pretty good, you could benefit from learning a little more before you dive in. Visit the RNLI website for more information.

  7. 6 and above.

    Hit the books before the seaside. While your knowledge of the water is pretty good, you could benefit from learning a little more before you dive in. Visit the RNLI website for more information.

  8. 3 and above.

    Don’t rush to the beach just yet! If you’re looking to get to the coast this summer, you need to brush up on your water safety. The RNLI has great resources for novices. Make sure you visit a lifeguarded beach if you’re heading to the coast.

  9. 2 and above.

    Don’t rush to the beach just yet! If you’re looking to get to the coast this summer, you need to brush up on your water safety. The RNLI has great resources for novices. Make sure you visit a lifeguarded beach if you’re heading to the coast.

  10. 1 and above.

    Don’t rush to the beach just yet! If you’re looking to get to the coast this summer, you need to brush up on your water safety. The RNLI has great resources for novices. Make sure you visit a lifeguarded beach if you’re heading to the coast.

  11. 10 and above.

    Lifeguard-in-training : not bad at all! You’ve clearly got real respect and love for the water, and you know how to keep yourself and others safe. Still, stay sharp, as nobody is ever done learning.

  12. 0 and above.

    Don’t rush to the beach just yet! If you’re looking to get to the coast this summer, you need to brush up on your water safety. The RNLI has great resources for novices. Make sure you visit a lifeguarded beach if you’re heading to the coast.

  13. 5 and above.

    Hit the books before the seaside. While your knowledge of the water is pretty good, you could benefit from learning a little more before you dive in. Visit the RNLI website for more information.

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