RNLI issues warning during Welsh coast ‘deadliest’ month

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Media captionLifeguard supervisor Tom John explains what to do if you get into trouble

More people have died on the Welsh coast in August than in any other month of the year, figures have shown.

According to the RNLI, there have been a total of 16 deaths in that month over the past five years.

The charity said the number of near-fatal incidents was also highest in August, with Welsh crews launching their lifeboats the most that month.

The RNLI is calling on the public to "respect the water" this summer as part of a drowning prevention campaign.

Last August, crews in Wales launched their lifeboats for 278 emergencies - 23% of their total annual launches and the highest number between 2012 to 2016.

Over the same period, RNLI lifeguards responded to the most beach incidents in August than any other year - 690 cases, which accounted for 55% of their total annual incidents.

Helen Church, RNLI community safety partner for Wales, said: 'With summer holidays upon us and hopefully some hot weather, our fantastic beaches are naturally a draw for many people.

"But sadly this also means more people tragically losing their lives or getting into serious danger at the coast.

"We need to start a national conversation that encourages people to fight their instincts around water."

The charity has also raised concerns people do not know they should dial 999 to request help if they saw someone fall into open water.

It has previously issued advice on how to avoid cold water shock.

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Media captionWatch BBC reporter Natalie Crockett try out the RNLI floating technique

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