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RNLI Lifeguards assist 45 missing children in one day

Lifeguards News Release

The sun was shining on Saturday 24 August, and families crowded to the beautiful beaches around the Welsh coastline to enjoy the bank holiday weekend weather.

RNLI

Stock photo of RNLI lifeguard flag in the sunshine
Senior Lifeguard Dafydd Fardy certainly had a busy day on Barry Island (Whitmore Bay beach) alongside lifeguards Ioan Wardhaugh, Jason Grice and Josh McKenna. RNLI lifeguards on Barry Island were alerted to forty-five separate cases of missing children in the eight hours that they patrolled the beach.

Each missing child was reunited with their family, thanks to the effective work of the RNLI lifeguards.

Matt Childs, Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Bridgend said: ‘Lifeguards at Barry Island are used to dealing with missing children on a regular basis, however on Saturday they were really put through their paces. The lifeguards were able to reunite each child with their guardian, and everyone was able to enjoy the great weather without worry.’

Bridgend lifeguards have dealt with a number of cases of missing children this summer season, especially in the Barry Island area. The RNLI encourage beach-goers to use 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 lifeboat stations and lifeguard units including Bridgend.

The wristband scheme helps the lifeguards to reunite children with the adult they came with 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.

When you visit a lifeguarded beach, trained professionals monitor the welfare of the public to ensure that you enjoy the coast whilst staying safe.

RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands each summer, find your nearest here: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

RNLI media contacts:

Katie Lewis, Media Engagement Placement, Wales and West at Katie_lewis@rnli.org.uk

Notes for 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: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

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 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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.