Lifeguards and lifeboat crew join forces in training exercises at local hot spot

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from St Ives lifeboat and lifeguards within the St Ives Bay area have been working together at three local incident hot spots.

RNLI/Ollie Shilston

RNLI lifeguards and St Ives lifeboat crew training off Portmeor beach

With lifeguards returning to the beaches from tomorrow (Friday 30 March) for the Easter holidays they’ve been training together in a number of scenarios.

RNLI lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crew are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and joint training exercises like this are vital in trading experiences and skills and preparing for when the call comes to rescue someone in trouble around the coast.

On Wednesday 28 March the volunteer lifeboat crews worked alongside lifeguard teams from Porthmeor, practicing evacuation techniques of casualties from rocks and pick-ups in the surf using the rescue water craft (jet ski).

Rob Cocking, St Ives RNLI lifeboat Coxswain said;

‘It is always an extremely valuable experience for both the volunteer crew and the lifeguards to gain an understanding of the different situations and conditions they might be working with together, before the start of the summer season.’

In challenging surf conditions Gwithian lifeguards were assisted in a simulated rescue of kayakers in trouble near Godrevy Lighthouse and were taught advanced search and rescue techniques for a missing person by the crew on board the new all-weather Shannon class lifeboat.

‘This was a fantastic opportunity to work with the crew from St Ives Lifeboat Station,’ said Lifeguard Supervisor Ollie Shilston.

‘Their local knowledge and experience of this area of coastline are invaluable to our lifeguards. We look forward to working closely with them throughout the lifeguard season.’

At Hayle beach the teams practiced surf techniques using St Ives inshore lifeboat and the lifeguards (Arancia) boats, tidal cut off procedures and familiarisation of the Hayle Estuary.

Praa Sands, Hayle Towans, Gwithian, Porthmeor and Sennen are among the beaches with lifeguard cover during the Easter holidays and there are others throughout Devon and Cornwall.

Ollie continued: ‘We’re looking forward to being back on the beaches this Easter. Our lifeguards are highly trained and joint exercises like the one this week allow us to practice our skills should we need to use them to help someone who finds themselves in trouble in the water.

‘We ask beachgoers to visit a lifeguarded beach and if you are planning on going for a swim we advise you wear a wetsuit, as the water temperatures this time of year are particular cold, and swim between the red and yellow flags.’

The RNLI asks beachgoers to plan their activity, but also think about what they’d do in an emergency should something unexpected happen.

We recommend you check the weather and tide conditions and make sure your equipment is all in working order. Carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong; know your capabilities and make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment.

If you see someone in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 (or 112) and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water yourself.

To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit

Notes to editors
  • Please find attached images of the training exercises. Credit RNLI / Ollie Shilston
  • Lifeguard Easter season dates are as follows:
    • **Friday 30 March to Sunday 15 April (followed by weekend lifeguard cover until 5 May when full time lifeguard cover resumes until October): Praa Sands, Hayle Towans, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Towan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Harlyn, Constantine, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze in Cornwall and Woolacombe, and Bantham in Devon.
    • This season, lifeguards have been patrolling Croyde in Devon since 24 March and will do until October.
    • Fistral, Sennen and Portmeor in Cornwall will have full time lifeguard cover from Friday 30 March until October.
    • Volunteer lifeguards from St Agnes Surf Life Saving Club will be providing patrols on St Agnes beach from Saturday 31 March to Sunday 8 April for more info visit
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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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