RNLI lifeguard season in Weymouth and West Dorset draws to a close

Lifeguards News Release

With the RNLI lifeguard season drawing to a close in Weymouth this Sunday (27 September), the charity is urging those still visiting the coast and using the water to heed the RNLI’s beach safety advice.

Weymouth beach has had a very busy summer with more people choosing to holiday at home and staycation in the south west due to the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside responding to incidents in the water, providing casualty care for both minor and major first aids, and helping locate lost children, Weymouth RNLI lifeguards have carried out many preventative actions throughout the summer, with their advice and interventions preventing many more incidents occurring.

RNLI lifeguards have provided this service while adapting to new protocols this season because of the pandemic to protect themselves and the public from the virus. This has included wearing PPE, enhanced cleaning of equipment and maintaining a 2 metre distance from others whilst carrying out their role.

Weymouth beach will see it’s last day of lifeguard patrols for the year on Sunday 27 September when the lifeguards lower the flags at 6pm.

With no lifeguard service in operation from Sunday, members of the public are being urged by the charity to take extra care and be responsible when visiting the beach by knowing their limits and not taking any risks.

Alice Higgins, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor for Weymouth says:

‘Those still wanting to use the beaches in Dorset can help keep themselves safe by taking note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, going with a friend or telling someone on the shore where they are going, at the same time always being aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water. Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water.

Those who enjoy walking and exploring the coastline should check the weather forecast and local tide times before setting out, and carry a means of communication.

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.’

RNLI lifeboat crews have been operating throughout the pandemic and continue to be on call 24/7 ready to respond to emergencies when their pager goes off.

Notes to editors

  • Please find attached two images of the Weymouth and West Dorset RNLI lifeguard team, both socially distanced and one with PPE. Please credit RNLI/Nathan Williams
  • Please visit the RNLI website for key beach safety advice: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
  • To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Becky Bright, Regional Media Engagement Placement on Becky_Bright@rnli.org.uk or 07375855897, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk or 07920818807, or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or via pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Weymouth & West Dorset lifeguards 2020 in PPE

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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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 by email.

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