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Stay Safe at the Beach

Safety advice for summer days at the beach

by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider some of the dangers that could be encountered on a day out at the beach.

Preparation and materials

  • Note: this assembly covers material that could be sensitive to some students.

  • Have available the YouTube video ‘Ruari RNLI Rescue BBC Saving Lives at Sea’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 4.40 minutes long and is available at:

  • Have available the images from the BBC news article ‘How to stay safe at the beach and in the sea’ and the means to display them during the assembly. The article is available at:

  • Optional: you may wish to play ‘Surfin’ USA’ by the Beach Boys at the end of the assembly, in which case you will also need the means to do so. A version of it is available at: (2.12 minutes long)


  1. When the hot summer weather arrives and the sun is shining, nothing beats the enjoyment that can be had from a day at the beach. The UK is surrounded by the sea and according to Ordnance Survey, who are responsible for mapping the country, no one is more than 70 miles away from the coast.

  2. Ask the students to imagine a hot summer’s day at the beach. Talk them through some of the highlights in a calm and soothing voice: they are relaxed, the sun is warm, they are having a good time and the sea is a good place in which to cool down and have fun.

  3. However, not everyone’s day at the beach is always so peaceful and stress-free.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Ruari RNLI Rescue BBC Saving Lives at Sea’.

  4. Ask the students to consider the following questions. You may wish them to discuss the answers if appropriate.

    - How did the boy get into trouble at sea?
    - What would you do if you were in that situation and saw someone you loved being swept out to sea?
    - Were you surprised at the advice given that going into the sea after someone else to try to save them is not always the right thing to do?

  5. Explain that the volunteer crews of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the RNLI, are on call 24 hours a day. They have saved hundreds of thousands of lives thanks to the bravery of the men and women who are willing to go to sea in times of trouble.

    However, the RNLI is more than a rescue service. Educating young people and adults about safety at sea is also a vital part of its work. The main message from the RNLI is ‘respect the water’.

  6. Use the images from the BBC news article to consider how to stay safe at the beach and in the sea. Highlight the following points.

    - Stick to beaches that have lifeguards, and take note of the flags that are flying.
    - Make sure that you know what the flags mean.
    - Be aware of what you should do if you get into trouble.
    - Be aware of what you should do if you see someone else in trouble.
    - Make sure that you have an understanding of the tides.
    - Be aware of when you should stay away from the sea.

Time for reflection

Let’s take a moment to think about the amazing work of the RNLI. Let’s thank God for their bravery and commitment, and pray for their safety as they help those in need.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
We pray for the RNLI volunteers who are always on call,
And who are willing to take risks in order to save lives at sea.
We also give thanks for the lives of those who have been saved at sea.
Let us not forget the power of nature,
And help us to enjoy our wonderful coastline in a safe and respectful way.


Optional: ‘Surfin’ USA’ by the Beach Boys

Publication date: June 2018   (Vol.20 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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