Numerous children and vulnerable adults get lost every year during the busy holiday season and this can cause huge distress and worry for families. It also has a significant impact on the Police, RNLI, and Coastguard.
PCSO Sandi Greenacre from Norfolk Constabulary developed the idea of having a recognisable character and meeting point for families along busy coastline areas to use should they become separated from each other.
Sadly, Sandi died in 2013 and Norfolk launched Sandi Starfish in her memory in 2014.
Lincolnshire Police have since adopted the successful initiative and it was rolled out along the Lincolnshire coast in 2016 keeping its name as a further legacy to PCSO Greenacre.
How does it work?
Sandi Starfish flags are flown along the coast for families to use as a meeting point. You can find them at RNLI watchtowers along the beach and they are staffed by RNLI Lifeguards.
Free Sandi Starfish wristbands are also available from various locations across the coast for children and vulnerable adults. Parents and carers should write their name and mobile number on the reverse of the wristband so that if a child or vulnerable adult goes missing, they can be quickly reunited with their family. The wristbands are waterproof and once on, can only be removed by cutting them off.
To collect your free wristband, look for venues and locations displaying the Sandi Starfish poster. Some of these locations include:
RNLI beach life stations in Mablethorpe, Sutton on Sea, Ingoldmells and Skegness
Skegness Police Station Town Enquiry Office
Natureland Seal Sanctuary
BJ’s Leisure, Ingoldmells
Golden Palm Resort reception, Chapel St Leonards
Our top tips to staying safe:
Designate a meeting point using Sandi Starfish flags where available
Tell your child or vulnerable adult what to do if they get separated from you. Ideally, approach someone in uniform and tell them they are lost
Use the wristband to record your name and phone number
Keep an up-to-date photo and remember what your child is wearing