RNLI lifeguards will begin patrols in Jersey this weekend
RNLI lifeguards will start their summer season safety patrols at St Ouen’s from this Saturday (23 May).
Since the Government of Jersey announced a lifting of restrictions for people in Jersey, who are permitted to spend time outside their home at the beach and use the water for exercise, the charity has focussed on re-establishing the infrastructure required for the lifeguard service on the Island.
During a normal summer, this takes time and includes recruitment, training, and the ordering and distributing of equipment and facilities to beaches. While the RNLI has done as much as possible to prepare during lockdown, there was limit to what could be achieved under the Government’s restrictions. This year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the charity has to ensure the lifeguards are equipped with the appropriate PPE and have received training and support in the new operating procedures and precautions needed to manage the challenges of coronavirus alongside the other demands of their role.
Jake Elms, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor says:
‘Despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved we have succeeded in re-establishing the lifeguard service in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.
‘There will be a lifeguard service at St Ouen’s operating between 10am - 6pm from Saturday 23 May.
‘As ever, the welfare of our staff and beach visitors along with our commitment to providing a world-class lifesaving service is the RNLI’s priority and so we have been working closely with the Government of Jersey to make sure that conditions are safe for our lifeguards to provide an effective service.
‘Our lifeguards have a vital role in making sure visitors to the beach are aware of their surroundings, the potential dangers at the beach and providing a lifesaving rescue service should anyone get into trouble. We would encourage the public to follow the Government’s advice on social distancing and take care to understand the risks at the coast and the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.’
The RNLI lifeguard service will continue to be supported by the charity’s lifeboat stations at St Helier and St Catherine’s, whose volunteer crew have been on call 24/7 to help those in trouble at sea throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
We would urge anyone planning a visit to the coast to remember and follow RNLI safety advice:
- Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
- Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
- Don’t allow your family to swim alone
- Don’t use inflatables
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
- In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard
Senator Steve Pallett, Assistant Minister, EDTSC says;
‘I am delighted that the good working relationship built up over many years between Government, the Coastguard and the RNLI has resulted in lifeguard services being resumed in time for next weekend. Providing safe working procedures for both lifeguards and the public is vital so I thank the RNLI locally for working incredibly hard to ensure lifeguards will be patrolling St. Ouen’s Bay on what is likely to be a busy Bank Holiday weekend. I would urge any islander considering visiting our coastline to be aware of the dangers especially for children and remember the sea water is still cold at this time of year.’
Notes to Editors
- Please contact Amy or Marianne below to arrange interviews
- To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate
- RNLI shops and visitor centres remain shut and all community fundraising has stopped.
For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager at email@example.com or 07920818807 or Marianne Quinn, RNLI Regional Press Officer Marianne_quinn@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.