THE RNLI has urged people to stay safe on Wales’ beaches after the end of seasonal daily lifeguard patrols this summer.

The majority of lifeguard patrols came to an end last week, and now the charity has urged anyone planning a trip to the beach over the autumn and winter months to keep safe and respect the water.

Daily lifeguard patrols will continue at a number of locations such including Langland, Caswell, Rest Bay and Trecco Bay until later this month.

Chris Cousens, water safety lead for the RNLI, said: “We’ve seen an exceptionally busy summer season where people in their thousands flocked to our beaches.

“Our lifeguards across Wales were involved in carrying out water rescues, administering casualty care, delivering water safety information, and helping to reunite missing children with their families.

“It’s therefore more important than ever to understand the hazards of your environment and take the time to read safety signage on the beach or ask for some safety advice at one of the local surf shops before heading into the water.

“While we can expect our beaches to be quieter, there will be people using the water for activities such as surfing and kitesurfing.

“In the absence of RNLI lifeguards during this period, we would encourage visitors while enjoying themselves, to be mindful that the water will be colder, and the sea can be dangerously unpredictable.

“Taking basic precautions can greatly reduce the risk of getting into difficulty and improve your chance of being found quickly should you need rescuing.

“With this in mind, we urge beach visitors to come dressed appropriately to ensure your visit is both safe and enjoyable.

“Before you head out, always check weather and tide times, let someone know where you are going and when you are due back, and carry a means of communication such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.

“For activities like paddleboarding, we’d recommend you wear a wetsuit, as it will keep you warm in an emergency. Wearing an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket is also vital.

“If you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard. People can also get advice at their local RNLI lifeboat station.”