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RNLI lifeguards to provide Easter cover on five beaches on the Causeway Coast

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards will return to duty this week to provide lifesaving cover on five beaches on the Causeway Coast during this year’s Easter holidays.

RNLI/Lifeguards

Lifeguards on the Causeway Coast in training ahead of Easter

Starting on Good Friday, 19 April, lifeguards will be operating a daily patrol from 11am to 7pm on Benone Strand, Portstewart Strand, West Strand and East Strand in Portrush, and Whiterocks. The Easter service will run until Sunday 28 April.

The lifeguards role is to keep beachgoers safe by spotting the dangers and preventing accidents before they happen, as well as responding instantly if they occur. They monitor sea conditions to set up the appropriate flags, watch people on the beach and offer safety advice both on the beach and when not on patrol, in classrooms through the RNLI’s education programmes before the summer season.

Speaking ahead of going live for Easter, Karl O’Neill, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor said the lifeguards had been undergoing intensive training in recent weeks: ‘Our lifeguard induction covers seven key areas which provide new lifeguards with the information they need to carry out their work safely and effectively. Lifeguards then put their knowledge into practice during a series of staged scenarios. Then they’re ready to hit the ground running on the first day of the lifeguard season.

‘Working alongside our colleagues in the Causeway Coast and Glens District Council, the RNLI is delighted to be back for the 2019 season and our lifeguards are looking forward to putting their training and skills into action. We are here to provide a safe environment on the beach and to promote safe behaviour so that visitors can enjoy their day and return home safely at the end of it. We would encourage visitors to speak to our lifeguards, ask for safety advice, and to call on them should they get into difficulty.’

Last year, lifeguards in Northern Ireland responded to 283 incidents and came to the aid of 252 people.

The RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the beach is to respect the water, check weather and tide times before you go and if planning to go into the water, swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags. Avoid using inflatables in strong winds or rough seas.

If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help and if you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Following Easter, the RNLI will be providing weekend cover on these beaches before taking up full-time daily patrol for the summer on 11 beaches on the Causeway Coast and in County Down including Downhill, Castlerock, Ballycastle, Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield.

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RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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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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