The life-saving sand art creations up for national design award

3 minute read
The life-saving sand art creations up for national design award

Published at 12:17pm 23rd June 2020. (Updated at 12:27pm 23rd June 2020)

Sand art on a Cornish beach has been nominated for a national design award.

The creations at Bedruthan Steps, Watergate Bay and Perranporth were made in collaboration with the RNLI to promote beach safety.

It was an attempt to remind beach-goers that being cut off by the tide is a common incident that occurs along the entire UK coastline and can often accelerate to a very dangerous situation.

The sand art was also used to highlight locations of dangerous rip currents and to encourage people to swim between the red and yellow flags, patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Manager for the south west, said: "Last year, 25 people lost their lives on the coast in the south west. Too many people are getting cut off by tides or being caught out in rip currents, so we’re exploring new ways of raising awareness of these dangers.

"The sand signage concept carries great impact and we hope will help alert people to the risks that are present at that beach. We’re absolutely committed to reducing the number of people who drown around the coast and this is a new concept that could help achieve that."

RNLI Sand Art 3

The sand signage has been nominated under the ‘Spaces’ category for Wayfinding and Environmental Graphics in the Design Week awards.

Results will be announced online and through their social media channels at the end of June.

The sand art was developed and designed by David Revell of south west design consultancy Imagemakers, who worked with the RNLI’s Design Out Drowning programme.

David, from Imagemakers said: "The concept is simple: to create signs in the sand that could direct beach users to either the safest part of the sea, or inform them of potential risks and how to avoid them.

"As we developed the idea, we were considering how to make safety messaging simple, less hassle, more intuitive, timely and a little unusual in order to attract attention. We looked at existing precedents for this type of message delivery, finding examples in art, marketing and sports."

The project’s success in changing beach users’ behaviour was monitored and assessed showcasing its potential to be rolled out to other locations in the future.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisors have been practising the sand art during training and inductions at the start of the year and will aim to utilise this tool as we continue to roll out our lifeguarding service this summer.

"While we are still very much in the early stages of trialling the sand signage, the initial tests have been well received and certainly captured people’s attention," said Steve.

"We’ll continue testing throughout the summer and perfecting its installation while exploring how it could be rolled out to other locations."


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