RNLI launch a lifeguard service on Swanage beach for the first time
First a Shannon, now lifeguards. Swanage will have RNLI lifeguards patrolling the town’s main beach for the first time
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.
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Key facts about the RNLI
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 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.