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Don't use inflatables at sea

PUBLISHED: 21:21 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:55 06 July 2010

INFLATABLE rings are not designed to be used in the sea.

That was the stark warning from lifeguards this week as The Journal's Stay Safe This Summer campaign gathers pace.

INFLATABLE rings are not designed to be used in the sea.

That was the stark warning from lifeguards this week as The Journal's Stay Safe This Summer campaign gathers pace.

Calling on people to follow this vitally important advice to stay safe on the sands and in the water at the award-winning beaches of north Suffolk, The Journal and Waveney District Council have joined forces for the initiative.

Each week reminders will go out to users of the beaches as people are alerted to some of the key points of the campaign.

This week's message comes from the council's beach lifeguard Jamie Smith. “Blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for swimming pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept away,” he said. “Our advice is: don't use them in the sea, save them for the pool. However, if you do decide to use an inflatable toy in the sea, or indeed on the beach, please ensure children are closely supervised by an adult and keep nearby at all times.

“Only use them between the red and yellow flags and follow the lifeguard's advice should they approach you to offer guidance.

“Never take them out in big waves and never use them when the orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds, which could sweep you out to sea,” he warned.

The beach safety advice is:

Ask a lifeguard for advice - they are there to help.

Do not swim or play near groynes and piers.

If you get into trouble in the water, raise your hand in the air and shout for help.

Keep sight of young children at all times.

Yesterday, in the build-up to the busiest four days of the summer for the lifeguard team - with Lowestoft air show and the Honda offshore powerboat racing set to hit town - the team took part in a training session and were joined by council leader Mark Bee and councillor Stephen Ardley, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing.

“Last year, the team completed seven successful sea rescues over the two days of the air show and a further two rescues over the powerboat weekend,” a council spokesman said.

“They also worked closely with the air show stewards searching for 48 lost children.”

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