Nine of Norfolk’s beaches are once again benefitting from daily patrols by RNLI lifeguards.
The charity has also launched a new ‘beach finder’ mobile app to make it easy for anyone heading to the seaside this summer to find their nearest lifeguarded beach and enjoy a fun and safe visit.
Beaches at Sheringham, Cromer East, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston have been provided with daily cover (10am to 6pm) by the charity’s highly trained lifeguards since 16 May, and this will continue until 16 September. East Runton, Cromer West and Hemsby have daily patrols from 7 July to 2 September.
Lifeguards preparing for the new season have been put through their paces with timed swims, beach runs and extensive casualty care training.
Lifeguard Area Manager Sam Kendrick said: ‘We are very pleased to be returning to provide a lifeguarding service for nine local beaches. Whilst our lifeguards are well equipped to tackle rescue and first aid scenarios, 95% of their work is preventative: during patrols they are on hand to provide beach safety advice and answer the questions of Norfolk’s beachgoers. Along with the new RNLI “beach finder” app, it means that people can enjoy a beach visit this summer which is memorable for all the right reasons.’
The new app locates the user’s position and then lists the nearest lifeguarded beaches, as well as providing important information such as water quality (provided by the Marine Conservation Society), a description of the beach, the lifeguards’ patrol dates and times, and hazard information specific to each beach, such as whether it has big waves, strong winds, tidal cut off points or rip currents. Users can plan their trip to the beach by typing a postcode or town into the app’s search function to find lifeguarded beaches in that area.
Real-time weather information and a five-day forecast for each location are also included with the app – ideal for anyone wondering whether they’ll need to bring their suncream or waterproofs!
RNLI lifeguards responded to 15,625 incidents, helped 17,671 people and saved 84 lives on some of the UK and Ireland’s busiest beaches last year.
Ross Macleod, RNLI Coastal Safety Programmes Manager, said: ‘Throughout the summer, the RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the coast is to choose a lifeguarded beach, particularly if you’re planning to go in the water, because you’re much safer when you have highly-trained lifesavers looking out for you.
‘Our new “beach finder” app is ideal because it makes finding a lifeguarded beach extremely easy and convenient – people can use it once they’ve already left home. The additional information, such as lifeguard patrol times and local hazard information, is really helpful so beach users can enjoy their day but stay safe at the same time.’
The app is free to download on both Android and Apple devices from www.rnli.org/beach
A video demonstrating how to use the app is available here.
For more information visit www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety or www.rnli.orf.uk/seasafety
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Tim Ash, Public Relations Manager
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