In a statement issued on Monday 11 May, the RNLI said it’s seeking further clarity following the update given by the UK Prime Minister on 10 May and will be engaging with a number of watersport governing bodies and other stakeholders to help inform its response.
The organisation acknowledges that many people will want to visit the coast and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling.
“At present there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and although our volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe,” the statement reads. “This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard. In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.”
Meanwhile the Canal and River Trust has updated its guidance.
It says as the Government is allowing people to drive to spend time outdoors with members of the same household, the Trust is lifting any remaining restrictions for boat owners in England on visiting their boats. However, it is advising against travelling long distances to do so unless it is essential.
“We continue to advise that boats should only be used for minimal travel,” the Trust’s guidance continues. “We will be reviewing when we can restore navigation in light of the new government advice.
“Please note that in Wales the advice remains to stay at home and so visiting boats in Wales is not possible at this stage.
“If your boat is on a long-term mooring, such as in a marina, please check with your mooring provider first before visiting your boat. They may be able to carry out checks on your behalf if they are restricting access to maintain the safety of their staff and other customers.
“Any visits should be strictly for essential safety reasons; please remember that short leisure cruises or breaks on your boat for leisure are not allowed at this time.”