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RNLI lifeguards return to Norfolk and Suffolk beaches for summer 2016

Lifeboats News Release

A team of RNLI lifeguards will return to 16 beaches across Norfolk and Suffolk this weekend in a sign that summer is on its way.

Clad in their distinctive red and yellow uniforms, RNLI lifeguards will resume their annual beach patrols between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week, starting from this Saturday (2 July).
The lifeguards, who operate on behalf of North Norfolk District Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Waveney District Council, will return to their seasonal surroundings of sand and sea at Wells, Sheringham East, East Runton, Cromer West, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft North, Southwold South and or the first time this year West Runton.
Additional lifeguards will also be added to RNLI patrols already in operation (since May) at Sheringham West, Cromer East, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Gorleston, Lowestoft South and Southwold North in preparation for an increase in people visiting the seaside.
Vincent Pank, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘We’re about to enter what the RNLI calls our peak lifeguard season. Schools are breaking up for the summer holidays, the weather is set to get warmer and holiday makers are starting to make their way to the coast.
‘We’ve spent the past few weeks gearing up for our return to the beaches by training new lifeguards, welcoming back old faces and prepping our lifesaving equipment ready for action. It’s an exciting time and we’re looking forward to getting out on patrol and helping to keep the public safe.’
Last year, RNLI lifeguards in Norfolk dealt with 684 incidents, rescued 55 people and saved 8 lives. On the first day of 2015’s summer season, brand new lifeguard Becky Cooper, a local mum of two, helped rescue a man caught in a strong current, just hours in to her first day of work. Read the story here.  
Vincent added: ‘In line with the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect The Water, we’re urging beach goers to stay safe whilst enjoying the beach this summer. Our lifeguards will be on hand to offer advice and will be marking out the safest place to swim - which is always between the red and yellow flags.
‘If people do get into difficulty, our lifeguards are highly trained to help people in and out of the water. They’re equipped with vital lifesaving kit such as rescue boards and first aid responder bags, allowing them to treat a variety of injuries ranging from scrapes and cuts to broken legs and even cardiac arrest.’
Notes to editors
RNLI lifeguards will patrol 16 beaches in Norfolk and Suffolk throughout the summer. These are Wells, Sheringham West, Sheringham East, West Runton, East Runton, Cromer East, Cromer West, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Lowestoft North, Lowestoft South, Southwold North and Southwold South.
RNLI media contacts
·         Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
·         Sophie Coller-Nielsen Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416, 07824 416615
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland