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Six lives saved by RNLI lifeguards on Dorset beaches in 2018

Lifeguards News Release

Last summer's warm weather led to visitors flocking to Dorset beaches and a busy time for our lifeguards.

RNLI Nathan Williams

Lifeguards patrolling at Boscombe beach

RNLI lifeguards responded to 1,904 incidents and helped 2,021 people including saving the lives of six people. They make a welcome return to four Dorset beaches on Saturday (6 April) in time for the Easter holidays as patrols for the 2019 summer season get underway.

As in previous years, RNLI lifeguards have spent the last few weeks receiving world class training and being taught a variety of life-saving techniques so that they are ready for the start of the new season.

Kester Shepherd, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, says:

‘It’s that time again when the RNLI lifeguards make a welcome return to beaches in Bournemouth and Poole. We’re hopeful for sunshine this Easter, but whatever the weather throws at us, we can expect the beaches to be busy with visitors and locals enjoying their holidays.

‘If you are planning on getting in the water, it’s worth remembering the sea temperature is still very cold so it’s important people wear a suitable wetsuit and bring warm clothes to change into.

‘We urge beachgoers to head to a RNLI lifeguarded beach and to swim and bodyboard in the supervised area marked out by the red and yellow flags. Try and stay within your depth and follow the lifeguard’s advice. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard, or if you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

‘It’s also important to check the tide times, which are at harbour offices and at the entrance to all RNLI lifeguarded beaches or by searching your nearest beach online. Always take a means of calling for help in case you should get caught out.’

There’s still time for you to have the chance to work on the beaches of Bournemouth and Poole this summer. Taster sessions are being held on 5 May and 1 June where people will have the chance to find out more about the role. It will involve trying out some of the rescue equipment in the RNLI Survival Pool, meeting the team, and is a great opportunity to ask any questions about being a RNLI Lifeguard.

There are also beach lifeguard training courses running during May half term and in June. If you are interested in joining our team this year please register your interest by emailing us at eastdorsetlifeguards@rnli.org.uk

As a lifeguard you are there to make sure the public stay safe while enjoying their visit, and ultimately to help save lives at sea. It is a demanding job requiring commitment, skill and a clear head, but it’s also a job that is truly life changing.

Lifeguard patrols will start on Boscombe East, Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West, and Sandbanks beaches with further individual beaches starting at different dates between now and July. To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit rnli.org.uk/beaches

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RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, Regional Media Officer, on 07795127351 or Oliver_Wrynne-Simpson@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Nathan Williams

Lifeguard patrolling Bournemouth beach

RNLI Nathan Williams

Lifeguard patrolling Boscombe beach on a rescue watercraft

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.