Introduce your kids to Colin the Coastguard
Introduce them to Colin the Coastguard and his friends to teach them the all-important 999 message and other potentially lifesaving tips for visiting the seaside.
Visit our HM Coastguard page on the Colin the Coastguard website to download free and fun activities including Easter theme fun.
Top tips for families visiting the coast
Visiting the coast can be great fun, from cliff walking, swimming or just relaxing at the beach.
To get the most out of your trip, and stay safe, make sure you check the weather and tides before heading out, wear appropriate footwear and clothing for your activity, know the sea conditions and stick to coastal paths. Also, make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
When you visit the beach, make sure it is a life-guarded beach and that you swim between the flags. Make sure you keep an eye on children and ask your beach if they have a local wristband scheme which helps identify children if they wander off.
Digging in the sand is usually harmless although digging large holes can be dangerous if the sand caves in. Avoid digging tunnels or deep pits and fill in any holes you dig before you leave the beach.
Inflatables can be swept out to sea by currents and offshore winds. If you get swept out to sea stay with your inflatable and shout for help. If you see an inflatable that’s been blown away to sea, call 999 Coastguard.
Rip currents are difficult to spot, and even the most experienced swimmers can be caught off guard. If you do get caught stay calm, don’t panic. If you can stand, wade. Don’t try to swim. If you have a board or inflatable, keep hold of it to help you float. Raise your hand and shout for help.
Cliffs can be unstable, and cliff falls/landslides can happen without warning. Take note of warning signs, don’t climb fences to get to the edge and never climb the cliff as a short cut to the top.
To avoid getting caught out by the tide, check the weather and tide times before going out. Also avoid slippery and unstable rocks, take notice of signs, don’t climb up cliffs and be careful in sea caves so you don’t get trapped.
Avoid crossing bays and walking through mud where there can be hidden channels of fast-flowing water. If you do get trapped, spread your weight evenly across the surface, and stop others from trying to help you, as they might get stuck too.
For further safety information please visit coastguardsafety.campaign.gov.uk
You can also find lots of fun activities by visiting Colin the Coastguard at colinthecoastguard.com/hm-coastguard