Bridgend’s RNLI Lifeguards have been kept busy this summer while patrolling their seven beaches along the coast, and have responded to a high volume of incidents.
South Wales has seen temperatures reaching nearly 30 degrees over previous weeks, which has brought crowds of locals and tourists to the beaches. Bridgend’s RNLI lifeguards carried out 72 rescues and incident assists throughout the two weeks of good weather between 20 July and 2 August.
Matt Childs, Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Bridgend, said, ‘Our lifeguards at Bridgend have done a really impressive job so far this season, and have been taking part in regular training exercises to make sure that they can deal with a variety of incidents. The majority of what our lifeguards do is give advice to prevent incidents, so please listen to the lifeguards, who are trained to keep you safe.’
The RNLI advises beach-goers to visit a lifeguarded beach, and to swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by lifeguards. RNLI lifeguards assess the weather and sea conditions throughout the day and change the flags on the beach accordingly.
Incidents caused by inflatables are common around the coast, and Bridgend has been no exception this summer. The RNLI advises the public to not take inflatables into the sea, as although the waters may look calm, the under currents and offshore winds can pull inflatables out to sea. The lifeguards responded to a few similar incidents where swimmers were caught in strong currents, which can even affect confident swimmers.
Bridgend lifeguards have dealt with a number of cases of missing children this season, especially in the Barry Island area. This year, the RNLI and the Coastguard have teamed up to create the wristband scheme, to help reduce the number of missing children at beaches. Parents or guardians are being invited to write their mobile phone number on a free paper wristband which is available at selected lifeboat stations and lifeguard units around the coast, including Bridgend.
The wristband scheme means that if and when a child is unfortunate enough to become separated from the adults he or she is with, lifeguards can reunite them more efficiently. This should drastically reduce the time families are separated, which means less time worrying and more time enjoying our stunning coastline and beaches.
RNLI Media Contacts:
Katie Lewis, Media Engagement Placement, Wales and West at Katie_lewis@rnli.org.uk or alternatively Eleri Roberts on 07771941390 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
The seven beaches that are patrolled by Bridgend RNLI lifeguards are: Coney Beach, Llantwit Major Beach, Ogmore Beach, Rest Bay Beach, Southerndown Beach,Trecco Beach and Whitmore Bay Beach. To check when the lifeguards are scheduled to patrol the beaches, visit:
As RNLI lifeguards need to be physically on the beach during the patrolled hours, ready to respond to emergencies and prevent accidents, the RNLI can’t rely on volunteers to provide this cover seven days a week. Local authorities part fund the RNLI’s costs, which helps to meet the cost of lifeguard wages.
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, 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.