While prevention of accidents should always be the focus of a water safety strategy, well-maintained rescue equipment that is fit for purpose can frequently avert a tragedy.
One of the most common questions we are asked about water rescue equipment is how far apart the equipment should be sited. There are no fixed rules for this: the National Water Safety Forum (http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/) recommends siting units in areas where people congregate or are at a higher risk of falling in. The Forum also states that one unit every 100 metres is acceptable under normal conditions. This ensures any potential rescuer is never more than 50 metres away from life saving equipment.
The RNLI are more than happy to help with any queries you may have, and have developed a beach safety risk assessment procedure they can assist in conducting. Contact your local branch or visit http://www.rnli.org/ for more information.