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Tonne of water reminds public to Respect the Water this summer

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat crew and lifeguards were no match for the tonne of water on Porthcawl’s seafront last week as the charity presents a timely reminder for the public to Respect the Water this summer.

The cubic meter of water – weighing one tonne – has been put on display in Porthcawl and Tenby to help people realise how heavy a relatively small volume of water is.

Coastal fatality figures1 showed that 20 people lost their lives around the Welsh coast last year, the highest number since 2011. The number of near-fatal incidents was even higher, with the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards in Wales saving 78 lives in 2015.

The tonnes of water support the charity’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024.  The RNLI safety campaign highlights the dangers of cold water shock and rip currents as well as reminding people to be prepared when visiting the coast.

Nicola Davies, South Wales Community Reduction Manager said:

‘I would like to challenge everyone visiting Porthcawl and Tenby this summer to have a go and see if they can push the tonne of water – it’s heavier than you think!

‘People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable.  If you’re planning to get into the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers.’

Jacob Davies, South Wales Lifeguard Manager offers the following advice:

‘RNLI lifeguards are ready at their posts between 10am-6pm every day on beaches across South Wales this summer.  The lifeguards are there to help, so please come over and say hi at the start of your day.  The lifeguards will be able to offer advice of the best places to swim as well as advise you of the tidal movements and how that can affect the nature of the beach throughout the day.’

For more information on Respect the Water please visit

Notes to Editors
• Provisional coastal fatality data taken from the National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID) 2011–2015.
• The attached photos include: 
• Porthcawl lifeboat crew, Porthcawl Harbour Master and RNLI lifeguards with the tonne of water.
• Porthcawl RNLI lifeguards trying to push the tonne of water on Porthcawl’s seafront.
• Credit: Porthcawl RNLI

RNLI media contact
For more information contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland