In a bid to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024, the RNLI is calling on surfers who have experienced or witnessed a serious incident at the coast to share their experiences as part of a new study that could help the charity save more lives.
The lifeboat crews and lifeguards rescue thousands of people and save hundreds of lives annually, but around 190 people still die along the UK and Irish coasts each year. Between 2011 and 2015, eight people died while surfing in the UK, while the RNLI’s lifeboat crews launched 51 times to rescue surfers in 2015 alone. In the same year, RNLI lifeguards responded to 470 surfing incidents.
The research will involve carrying out interviews with survivors and witnesses of serious coastal water-related incidents to help the RNLI understand more about how potentially life-threatening situations arise, and what can be done to avoid them.
Participants must be aged 18 or over and have witnessed or experienced an incident at sea or on the coast where they felt someone’s life was at risk or a life was lost. NatCen, a social research agency, are working with the RNLI and would like to speak with people who have experienced and/or seen an incident between 2012–2016 in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The interview will cover areas such as those involved in the incident, what happened and its impact, as well as suggestions for preventing similar incidents in the future. Details that could identify individuals will be kept confidential and findings will be anonymised.
To find out more visit the NatCen website.