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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Sea dangers warning by rescuers
Lifeguards say people under-estimate the sea's potential risk
Rescuers have issued warnings about the dangers of the sea after a spate of incidents on the Welsh coastline.

On Saturday Prestatyn lifeguards rescued an adult, a child, and then two teenagers, and a yachtsman died after falling overboard off Pembrokeshire.

The next day a man was taken to hospital after he was swept away by a wave which toppled an inflatable dingy off Borth, near Aberystwyth.

Experts said inflatables were not meant for "anything more than ripples".

Denbighshire's beach patrol supervisor Eddie Hamill said the sea was still cold despite the sunny weather.

Mr Hamill said people had to be careful not to stay in the sea too long.

"Lots of people have inflatables on the beach, but it only takes a slight breeze to take it out to sea," said Mr Hamill.

"Our advice is don't take inflatables out to sea and if you must use one then make sure there is a line connected and held securely by an adult on the shore.

Ask lifeguards for advice
Always check weather conditions before going to sea
Check notice board for up to date information
Don't take inflatables out to sea
If inflatables are used, have a line connected, held securely by an adult on shore
Ensure children are within easy reach at all times
If a dinghy or air bed is drifting out to sea, don't go after it
If you notice someone being swept out to sea, tell a lifeguard or call the coastguard immediately
Source: Denbighshire beach patrol

"We want people to have a great time at the beach, to come and enjoy themselves, but to also be safe."

In the Prestatyn rescues, an adult and a child were being blown out to sea in a dinghy, with another child in the water holding the craft. A lifeguard swam out and towed them back.

Half-an-hour later two 15-year-old boys had to be picked up by the Rhyl RNLI inshore rescue boat.

Both were taken to hospital, where one was treated for hypothermia. Both were later allowed to go home.

The Borth incident left a Shrewsbury man in a critical condition after he and one of two children were swept off an inflatable dinghy.

Milford Haven coastguard described inflatables as "an accident waiting to happen".


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