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
Margate main sands*
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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, in a normal year, 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.
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