A social media survey launched by the RNLI in collaboration with experts from Bangor University found that only 46% of those surveyed always check tide times before heading to the beach.
The results come ahead of this weekend’s spring tides, which will see larger tides than usual and an increased risk of getting stuck or cut off as the tide rises.
In light of striking figures that reveal 30 million people are planning to hit the UK coast this summer, the RNLI in Wales is working with Bangor University to better understand people’s knowledge of tides and associated coastal risks. .
The latest results from the social media survey, which saw more than 1,700 responses to questions posted on the RNLI and Bangor University Twitter pages over seven days, through June 17, confirm that more Work is needed to help communicate the importance of checking tide times before setting off. towards the coast.
RNLI statistics for Wales and North West England show people enjoying a walk and cut off by the tide caused almost 10% of all RNLI lifeboat launches over the past decade – more than double the UK average. Rescuers save hundreds of stranded people every year.
The online survey focused on four key questions, with the aim of helping the charity and Bangor University to assess people’s knowledge of coastal risks. The most striking result is that more than 50 percent of people don’t always always check tides before a trip, with 12 percent of those polled saying they never checked.
Interestingly, although participants admitted that they don’t always check the tides, they claimed to easily find information about tide times, with 87% saying they were confident in finding the relevant information. The vast majority of participants knew that the tide rose twice every 24 hours, with 87 percent responding correctly and nine percent responding incorrectly, the tide came in four times in a 24-hour period.
Regarding the use of a tide table, nine percent admitted never having used one, with 71 percent of respondents saying they found the information easy to understand.
Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Officer for Wales, West and Isle of Man, says:
‘With the tidal cutoff being a bigger issue for the RNLI in Wales and the West compared to other parts of the UK and Ireland, we want to understand why so many people still find themselves stranded on sandbanks, trapped on tidal causeways or stuck on rocks or cliffs, requiring assistance from the RNLI.
“It appears from the survey that more work is needed on education on the importance of being prepared before visiting the coast by ensuring that checking tide times is an integral part of their planning. We anticipated that more people would have said that it was difficult to access the tide information and that it was not easy to understand. However, this is clearly not the case. The investigation showed us that the area of interest must be to ensure that we verify the tide message with the public this summer.
Stevie Scanlan, Marketing Manager for Environmental Science and Engineering at Bangor University: “The tide rises and falls twice in every 24 hour period, and although tide times can be predicted accurately, they vary in each location and change every day. During high tides as we will see in the next few days where the water rises and falls more than usual, places will be cut off by the tide faster than normal and places usually unaffected by the tide may also be cut off. .
“This is why it is essential to check the tide times using a reliable online source, such as magicseaweed.com, the BBC weather forecast or a tide forecast app before setting out on a trip. Also look for local signage and ask for local advice.
‘With With the uncertainty surrounding holidays abroad and international travel, this will be the busiest summer ever on the Welsh coast, so we are delighted to be working with the RNLI to continue this important partnership. ‘
RNLI key figures
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a round-the-clock search and rescue service around the coasts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a typical year, over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent from the Coast Guard and the government and depends on voluntary donations and bequests to maintain its rescue service. Since the founding of the RNLI in 1824, its crews and rescuers have saved more than 142,700 lives.
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