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RNLI launch a lifeguard service on Swanage beach for the first time

Lifeguards News Release

First a Shannon, now lifeguards. Swanage will have RNLI lifeguards patrolling the town’s main beach for the first time

Just one month after Swanage Lifeboat Station received a Shannon lifeboat, the charity has announced that their lifeguards will be on patrol on the beach for the first time this summer – from this weekend (Saturday 28 May).
The lifeguards have finished their training and, even though they are highly trained to respond to the most challenging of rescues and first aid, 95% of their work is preventative. They aim to help visitors to the beach stay out of trouble before they even come close to any danger.

Kester Sheppard, RNLI Lifeguard Manager for Weymouth and West Dorset said: ‘I’m really pleased we will be able to provide a lifeguard service in Swanage and I am looking forward to working alongside the lifeboat crew in the town.

Last year the charity’s lifeguards responded to nearly 16,000 incidents last year, helping 18,181 people and saved 94 lives.

Kester continued: ‘Whilst lifeguards will be there to help anyone, should the worst happen on the beach or in the water, we are a friendly bunch and would encourage anyone to come and have a chat with us. We can show them the safest place to swim or advise of any risks on the beach to ensure visitors have the safest time possible at the beach’.

Swanage is just one of the new beaches the RNLI will be patrolling this summer, taking the number of RNLI beaches to 237, the same number of lifeguarded beaches as there are lifeboat stations.

Notes to editors
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RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Kirsti Pawlowski, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 07747 768799 or  contact RNLI Press Office 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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