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Help children learn how to Swim Safe at Plas Menai and Criccieth for free

Lifeboats News Release

Swim Safe, the national outdoor swimming and water safety programme for 7-14-year-olds, will be held for the third time at Plas Menai and is coming to Criccieth for the first time this summer.

Swim Safe helps children learn how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they get into trouble. The national programme is run by Swim England and the RNLI, supported by Swim Wales.

The 60-minute sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards and supported by a team of volunteers.

For the first time this summer, young people can take part in a Swim Safe session in Criccieth. The sessions are taking place at Criccieth RNLI Lifeboat Station on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July. Sessions are also being held, for the third year, at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre in Caernarfon on 23 and 24 June. Parents and carers can book their child’s free place now at swimsafe.org.uk.

Children aged 7­–­­­14 who can swim at least 25 metres can take part. Wetsuits and swim hats will be provided for the session and all young people will get a free goody bag and T-shirt.

Hope Filby, Swim Safe coordinator for Criccieth, says:

‘Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn.

‘Swim Safe is a free, fun activity that teaches kids lifelong skills that will help them enjoy open water safely.

Gemma Brook, Swim Safe coordinator for Plas Menai, says:

‘Parents and carers are also encouraged to get involved and find out more about how their children can stay safe at the beach and by the open water.

‘Places are free to book at swimsafe.org.uk and children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel.’

Swim England and the RNLI launched Swim Safe in 2013 at a single venue in Cornwall. Now in its sixth year, Swim Safe has grown to include 29 locations across the UK hosting sessions for the public and local schools.

The sessions are delivered by local partners, including community groups, leisure providers, local councils and RNLI lifeguard teams. The Plas Menai sessions are being delivered by Swim Wales and the RNLI.

Plas Menai is located on the banks of the Menai Strait, which has a very unique tidal system. This makes for a unique experience for Swim Safe. The tide moves sideways rather than in and out, which creates a new set of challenges. It is a great way to introduce children to how different open water swimming can be to swimming in a pool and how it can vary from location to location.


RNLI/Callum Robinson

Swim Safe

RNLI/Callum Robinson

Swim Safe Plas Menai 2017

RNLI/Callum Robinson

Swim Safe Rhyl 2018

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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