RNLI announce the remaining beaches to have lifeguard patrols in the South West as the sun and surf return

RNLI announce the remaining beaches to have lifeguard patrols in the South West as the sun and surf return

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RNLI Lifeguards, paid for by Sedgemoor District Council, will be returning to Burnham-on-Sea beach on Saturday, July 4th.     They will be on the beach from 1000 hrs until 1800 hrs daily.

The RNLI Lifeguards will provide an additional service at Burnham-on-Sea beach alongside the Sedgemoor-employed Beach Wardens. All beach users are urged to follow safety signage and listen to any advice and warning information issued by Sedgemoor’s Beach Wardens or the RNLI Lifeguards – the staff are there to ensure your safety.

The key message is if you’re heading into the sea at Burnham, please respect the water and swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been designated as the safest swimming areas by lifeguards. 

RNLI lifeguards are fully trained in all aspects of beach safety, so if you have any questions please approach a lifeguard who will be more than happy to help or offer expert advice.

Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • Do not allow your family to swim or surf alone
  • Do not use inflatables
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and FLOAT
  • In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Since announcing the intention to be on over 70% of beaches across the south west by the beginning of July, despite the ongoing corona virus pandemic, RNLI teams have been working hard to establish the service and are pleased to announce the final list of south west beaches which will be lifeguarded.

The announcement comes as warmer weather and large swell is forecast for the coming week, and the charity are urging surfers and beach goers to heed safety advice.

RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling the following beaches from this Saturday (27 June): Kennack, Gyllyngvase, Godrevy, Gwithian South, Upton Towans, Beachview, Porthminster, Gwenver, Porthcurno, Porthcothan, Boobys, and Trevone in Cornwall; and Dawish Warren and Teignmouth North in Devon.

From Saturday 4 July, RNLI lifeguard patrols will start on: Seaton, Tregantle, Crantock, Towan, Porth, Tolcarne, St Agnes, Perran Sands, and Sandymouth in Cornwall; Westward Ho!, Sandymere, Sandy Bay, Blackpool Sands, and Challaborough in Devon; Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset; and Lyme Regis and West Bay in Dorset. Crackington Haven (in Bude) will be lifeguarded from 9 July.

Guy Botterill RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager in the south west says:

‘The charity have been providing a lifeguard service on a limited number of beaches since the beginning of June which has enabled us to thoroughly test the new ways of working, PPE, staffing and new equipment as a result of Coronavirus. Despite the continuing challenges created by the pandemic, we are now confident we can provide a safe, comprehensive lifeguard service this summer.

‘It has taken a lot of hard work by the whole team, especially our RNLI lifeguard supervisors and technicians, but we are really pleased to be able to provide safety cover on over 70% of the beaches we’d usually cover by the beginning of July.’

In order to ensure the safety of both our lifeguards and the public at this time, the charity has had to provide lifeguards with the appropriate PPE and enhanced training supporting the new operating procedures and precautions that must be taken in order to manage the challenges of Coronavirus, in addition to the other demands of their role.

This means the public may have noticed that the lifeguard service looks a little different this year. Lifeguards will wear PPE similar to ambulance crews in some situations. New protocols for all first responders mean the lifeguards may not deal with some minor first aid cases but will support people to treat themselves. They will also try to keep socially distant from beach goers, and may need to adopt different patrol methods at times, such as not using the red and yellow flags and asking people to keep apart but close to shore, to help keep people safe while maintaining social distancing.

Guy continues:

‘With the large surf conditions forecast coupled with spring tides, rips currents will be stronger than normal. We are urging surfers and bathers to not enter the water alone, always go to a lifeguarded beach and ask the lifeguards and local surfers for advice.

‘With the summer solstice in full swing it will be light until 10pm for the next couple of weeks so please be careful if you are surfing or swimming outside of lifeguarded hours. Know your limits and know what to do if you are caught in a rip current or get into difficulty. Keep hold of your board or floatation device and paddle parallel to the shore.’

Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • Do not allow your family to swim or surf alone
  • Do not use inflatables
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and FLOAT
  • In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Notes to Editors

  • Please find attached an image of beach lifeguards
  • To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate

Media contacts

For more information please contact Becky Bright, Media Engagement Placement on Becky_Bright@rnli.org.uk or Marianne Quinn, Regional Media Officer, on Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847, or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or via pressoffice@rnli.org.uk .

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI – public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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