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RNLI lifeguard patrols due to finish on Dorset beaches

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguard patrols are due to finish on beaches at Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth this weekend as the summer draws to a close

Thirteen beaches in Dorset will lower their flags and pack their equipment away for the final time at 6pm on Sunday (25 September) as the RNLI lifeguard season officially ends.

There have been a number of visitors to Dorset beaches during the summer meaning a busy season for the RNLI lifeguard team. Incidents responded to by RNLI lifeguards in Dorset this season included the successful search and rescue of a man who had gone missing in the water at Bournemouth and the rescue of children who had been pulled into a rip current at Boscombe.

Now members of the public are being encouraged to take extra care and consider their safety on the beaches after Sunday’s season end.

Barry Heathfield, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, says: ‘It has been a very busy season for our lifeguards; we have seen huge numbers of people coming to beaches in Dorset over the summer.

‘Each year RNLI lifeguards deal with a whole range of things, from sea rescues, to first aid incidents and lost children. Our lifeguards have worked really hard and have once again done a fantastic job of keeping people safe at the coast this summer. They have shown commitment and dedication to both their ongoing training and their work on the beaches.

‘The majority of our lifeguards’ work is preventative so as well as the rescues and incidents they were involved in, they will have stopped many more potentially dangerous incidents before they occurred.

‘Autumn can see big spring tides and bigger swell around the coast. People walking on the coast should always check the tide times before setting out and carry a means of communication. The bigger swells mean more unpredictable rip currents in the water so people should take extra care. Anyone in difficulty in the water should try not to panic or fight against any currents, hold onto anything buoyant they have, call for help and raise their hand to attract attention and try to keep their head above water.

‘Once the lifeguard season has come to an end people visiting the beaches can help keep themselves safe by taking note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, going with a friend or telling someone on the shore where they are going, and always being aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water.’

The RNLI’s advice is not to enter the water if you see someone in trouble but rather to call 999 and ask for the coastguard. A host of information and advice on various aspects of water safety is available at

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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