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Lifesaving train delivers safety advice during final week of school holidays

A NEW ‘Float to Live’ message has transformed the side of an Mk4 carriage which can be seen on the tracks from Holyhead to Cardiff.

The RNLI has experienced one of its busiest ever period with Covid restrictions easing and people choosing to more people then ever choosing to ‘staycation’. Visitors to Wales have been delighted to catching a glimpse of the charity’s ‘Float to Live’ advice as the new premier class trains travels from north to south Wales.

With many people expected to make the most of the final bank holiday week before schools return, the RNLI hopes people see the lifesaving advice and remember should they fall into cold water to resist the urge to panic and to gently float on their back until help arrives.

The RNLI won the opportunity to showcase its safety campaign through a public vote on Twitter, during which the charity received nearly half of the 3,625 votes cast.

Aberdovey RNLI volunteer and full-time TfW train driver Arwel Jones is thrilled that the RNLI’s messages is being shared on this innovative new platform. He says:

‘Having the opportunity to share simple lifesaving messages like ‘Float to Live’ every day to those using public transport could make a big difference– it’s an easy message that could save a passengers’ life if they find themselves in trouble in the water. It’s been an exceptionally busy period for volunteers across Wales and with the good weather predicted this week, we are hoping people will take heed of this advice which really help to save someone’s life.’

Arwel has a very personal reason for wanting to share the ‘Float To Live’ message, having put the advice into practice in a real rescue scenario. He adds:

‘Last summer I, along with a group of friends who were windsurfing on the beach, rescued children in the estuary off Aberdyfi when they got caught in a rip current. Thanks to my RNLI training, I instantly shouted for them to lie on their backs and float until help arrived. This small move would buy them time until my friends and I could reach them. I hope this message and vital advice will now be shared far and wide as it really could help saves lives.’

The lifesaving charity and HM Coastguard have launching the beach campaign urging people to choose lifeguarded beaches when they visit the coast.

The key summer safety advice is:

· Visit a lifeguarded beach & swim between the red and yellow flags

· If you get into trouble Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about

· Call 999 or 112 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard

Nick Evans, Fundraising and Partnership Manager is thrilled that one of the campaign’s key message has been exposed to a new audience. He says:

‘With its stunning scenery and spectacular beaches, people have been flocking to the Welsh coastline this summer, with many arriving by rail.

‘Having this exciting new platform to share our messages is fantastic and we’re so grateful to all those who voted and to Transport for Wales for giving us this opportunity.’

Not everyone who finds themselves in trouble in the water, expected to even get wet. RNLI statistics for Wales show people enjoying a walk and getting cut off by the tide caused almost 10% of all RNLI lifeboat launches over the last decade – more than double the UK average. Lifeguards rescue hundreds more stranded people every year.

Photo by Transport for Wales

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