Campaign to target coastline safety

In the past 18 months, 60 children have drowned around Britain's coastline, so the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is gearing up to promote sea safety messages to Scottish schools before the holidays

Jean McLeish

In the past 18 months, 60 children have drowned around Britain's coastline, so the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is gearing up to promote sea safety messages to Scottish schools before the holidays.

Last year, the charity delivered its message to 15,000 Scottish pupils. This is the third year of the Beachwise campaign, which advises children on how to avoid hazards and what to do if they get into difficulty.

"The RNLI rescued more than 8,000 people last year, but with children in particular, in the last 18 months something like 1,500 got into difficulties in British coastal waters and 60 drowned," says Carol Nelson, RNLI regional education manager for Scotland.

The charity offers free education packs for schools, including Get On Board, aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds. It comes with lesson plans, teachers' notes illustrating how materials fit in with the curriculum, activities and 30 workbooks for children.

It's the turn of schools in Aberdeenshire and Glasgow to be targeted this year. Teachers are also being directed to a new website which offers downloadable lesson plans, factsheets and whiteboard activities suitable for 5 to 14-year-olds. There is also a section for pupils on the website.

"It does have some good stuff on literacy, wordplay and maths, and really does show how the RNLI fits in with a wide range of topics," Ms Nelson explains.

The charity is also involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and older secondary students can do their service section with a local lifeboat station.

"Many students who get involved with the RNLI through the award scheme stay on with the station they have formed a bond with and become crew members there once they have turned 17," Ms Nelson says.

www.rnli.org.ukshorething.

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Jean McLeish

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