RNLI beach finder app

RNLI Beach Finder app

RNLI App to find nearest lifeguarded beaches

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched a new ‘beach finder’ mobile app to make it easy for anyone heading to the seaside this summer to find their nearest lifeguarded beach, helping them have a fun and safe visit.

The ‘RNLI beach finder’ app locates the user’s position and then lists the nearest lifeguarded beaches, as well as providing important information such as water quality (provided by the Marine Conservation Society); a description of the beach; the lifeguards’ patrol dates and times, and hazard information specific to each beach, such as whether it has big waves, strong winds, tidal cut off points or rip currents. Users can also plan their trip to the beach by typing a postcode or town into the app’s search function to find lifeguarded beaches in that area.

Real-time weather information and a five-day forecast for each location is also included with the app – ideal for anyone wondering whether they’ll need to bring out their suncream or waterproofs!

As well as the handy safety-related features, the app also has some extra ‘fun’ features – perfect to try out once you’re relaxing at your chosen beach. These include the ability to enter the RNLI’s sandcastle competition to be in with a chance of winning a weekend for a family of four at the RNLI College, where the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards train.

You can also send virtual postcards from your chosen beach to let your friends and family know where you are, test your knowledge with a fun beach quiz; and ‘check in’ at the beach location via Facebook and Twitter.

RNLI lifeguards responded to 15,625 incidents, helped 17,671 people and saved 84 lives on some of the UK and Ireland’s busiest beaches last year. The charity’s key safety advice for those heading to the coast is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags so you have expert lifesavers looking out for you while you’re in the water.

Ross Macleod, RNLI Coastal Safety Programmes Manager, says:

‘Throughout the summer, the RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the coast is to choose a lifeguarded beach, particularly if you’re planning to go in the water, because you’re much safer when you have highly-trained lifesavers looking out for you.

‘There are over 250 lifeguarded beaches around the UK – 183 of which are patrolled by RNLI lifeguards – so there are plenty for people to choose from.

Our new “beach finder” app is ideal because it makes finding a lifeguarded beach extremely easy and convenient – people can even look into it once they’ve already left home. The additional information, such as lifeguard patrol times and local hazard information, is really helpful so beach users can enjoy their day but stay safe at the same time.

‘Obviously days at the coast are meant to be fun, so we’ve included some extra features which people can play with once they’re at the beach, such as the ability to submit a photo of your sandcastle for entry into our sandcastle competition, or send virtual postcards to friends and family.’

A video demonstrating how to use the app is available here.

The app is available to download free-of-charge on both Android and Apple devices from www.rnli.org/beach.

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