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RNLI lifeguards to resume full time patrols on Kent beaches this weekend

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards will begin full time patrols of Kent’s beaches this Saturday (9 July) for the start of the 2016 peak season.

In a sign that summer is on its way, lifeguards will be back in action at 13 beaches across Thanet and Swale from 10am until 6pm, seven days a week from Saturday 9 July until September 4.
Current patrols are in full swing at Margate main sands, Joss bay, Botany bay, and Viking bay which have been manned by RNLI lifeguards since May half term. As the weather gets warmer and school holiday’s approach, Minnis Bay, St Mildreds, West Bay, Westbrook, Stone bay and Ramsgate will be added to the bill of full time patrols in Thanet to keep the people of Kent safe while enjoying the seaside this summer.
James Uren, RNLI Lifeguard Manager in Kent, said: ‘The past few weeks have been spent welcoming back old faces, training up new recruits and ensuring our equipment is ready for action.
‘In line with the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, we’re urging beach goers to stay safe this summer. Last year we rescued 27 people and gave vital safety advice to over 90,000 members of the public.
‘When you arrive at the beach, familiarise yourself with the red and yellow flags. These will mark the safest place to swim. Depending on tides and the weather, this area may change daily, so speak to a lifeguard if you have any questions.
‘If people do get into difficulty, our lifeguards are highly trained to help people in and out of the water. They’re equipped with crucial 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.’
Clad in their familiar red and yellow uniforms, this will be the fifth year RNLI lifeguards will have patrolled Kent’s coast. Beaches on the Isle of Sheppey will also be manned by the RNLI at Leysdown-on-Sea, Minster and Sheerness, for the fourth year running.
Becky Fox, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in Kent said: ‘We have just finished a series of educational beach talks given to primary school children on the Isle of Sheppey, so we’re hoping that education will lead to prevention of rescues in the area this year.’    
You can follow the activity of Kent’s lifeguards throughout the summer on Facebook, search: Lifeguards South East and @RNLILifeguardsSE on Twitter.

Notes to editors:
Below is a full list of beaches in Thanet and Swale which will be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards this summer: *have been patrolled since May.
Isle of Sheppey
Laysdown on sea
Minnis bay
St mildreds
West bay
West brook
Margate main sands*
Joss bay*
Botany bay*
Stone bay
Viking bay*
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