RNLI Barry and Penarth are urging the public to stay safe when they go to the beach after an increase in sea rescues in the Vale.

This summer the rescue services have seen a rise in calls of people in difficulty due to strong currents known as rip tides.

Just last week a man rushed into the sea in Barry's Watchtower Bay after a girl got into difficulty.

The RNLI is reminding the public to check tide times before setting off and to let people know where they are heading before entering the water.

AN RNLI spokesperson said: “To the west of Barry and the Bristol Channel we have the mighty Atlantic Ocean which has a big influence on our tides.

"Twice daily a great mass of water is squashed into the funnel shape that is the Bristol Channel which causes the water to increase in speed and height.

“This water then must empty and rush out in the opposite direction twice daily, which gives us the 14-meter rise and fall of water that we see at our beaches.

“Locally the tide can be seen rushing past our headlands of Nells Point, Friars Point and Cold Knap Point with speeds of up to 7 knots (8 mph)

“In our bays of Jackson’s Bay, Whitmore Bay, Watchtower Bay, Cold Knap and Porthkerry Bay, the flow of the tide hits our headlands and creates back eddies which push the water, objects and even swimmers into the flow of the main current and out to sea.”

Due to the rise in rescues, the RNLI has issued the following advice when visiting these areas, to keep safe.

  • Swim on lifeguarded beaches;
  • Get to know where you are swimming and check the condition before going in;
  • Know what the tide is doing and the weather conditions;
  • Make sure you are properly equipped;
  • Beware of the cold;
  • Make sure someone knows where you have gone and why, and that you have the means to call for help, especially in remote locations;
  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags.

If you should get caught in a rip tide the RNLI Barry and Penarth issue the following advice to stay safe.

  • Don’t try and swim against it or you will become exhausted;
  • If you can stand, wade don’t swim;
  • If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip then head for shore;
  • Always raise your hand and shout for help.

If you see anyone in trouble alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.