There is an opportunity for children across the UK to learn about lifesaving water safety this summer – and it’s all for free.

The RNLI has joined forces with Swim England to offer children across the UK free live-saving water safety skills this summer, and in Cornwall, sessions will be running at Swanpool beach in Falmouth and Summerleaze beach in Bude.

Recent research released by the lifesaving charity revealed more than 11 million people visited the south west’s beaches last summer. RNLI lifeguards covering the region dealt with 11,216 incidents, aided 13,664, and saved 57 lives. Younger children required assistance more than any other age group.

Free Swim Safe sessions are now being held to teach children aged seven to 14 how to stay safe in and around open water, and what to do if they, or someone else, gets into difficulty – including how to 'Float to Live.'

In the south west, Swim Safe sessions can now be booked at Swanpool beach in Falmouth every Sunday from July 31 until September 4, as well as at Summerleaze beach in Bude on Saturday, August 13.

Joel Ninnes, Southwest RNLI water safety delivery support, said: "Last year, RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews were busy, aiding more than 50,000 people and saving 408 lives.

"By educating children about water safety from a young age, together we can help reduce the number of incidents around our coasts and at inland locations.

"That’s why we are encouraging parents of children between the ages of seven and 14 to sign them up for the free Swim Safe sessions to help build their confidence in and around the water while learning vital skills which could save their lives such as how to float.

This is a simple technique where you lean back like a starfish, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. It allows you to control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety and is proven to save lives."

Since 2013, the Swim Safe programme has delivered free lifesaving sessions to more than 148,000 children across the UK – many of these visitors and holidaymakers.

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