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More RNLI lifeguarded beaches get ready to open up across the south west

Lifeguards News Release

An additional 31 beaches across the south west will begin RNLI lifeguard operations from Saturday (15 May).

RNLI lifeguard red and yellow flags

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguard sets up red and yellow flags

The charity’s lifeguard service has been running on some beaches since Easter and now more beaches will begin operations to reflect the increase in visitors and beach-users, bringing the total number of beaches to 59.

The beaches beginning RNLI lifeguard operations in Devon are; Challaborough, Westward Ho! and Sandymere.

The beaches in Cornwall are; Seaton, Poldhu Cove, Kennack, Gyllyngvase, Crantock, Great Western, Tolcarne, Porth, Portreath, Chapel Porth, St Agnes, Perran Sands, Holywell Bay, Gadrevy, Gwithian South, Upton Towans, Beach View, Mexico Towans, Porthminster, Gwenver, Porthcurno, Porthcothan, Booby’s, Trevone, Trebarwith, Black Rock, Crooklets and Sandymouth.

The RNLI urge anyone planning to enter the water, to always visit a lifeguarded beach during the operational hours of 10am-6pm, and to swim between the red and yellow flags.

Kitty Norman, RNLI Water Safety Coordinator says,

‘It’s important to always plan ahead for your day at the beach and come prepared. Speak to the RNLI lifeguards who have a wealth of local knowledge and expertise. They will set up the beach according to the conditions and will always put the swim-zone (between the red and yellow flags) at the safest part of the water.’

The RNLI lifeguards have been busy training in casualty careand water-rescue skills, ready for the summer months ahead. Rip currents are a big danger on our beaches and are one of the most common incident lifeguards deal with.

Steve Instance, RNLI Water Safety Lead in the south west, says;

‘A rip current is a strong flow of water that can appear suddenly and quickly sweep bathers out of their depth causing panic. It’s important to read any local signage about the location of rip currents and to understand that information. If you are ever unsure about rip currents and where they are located you should always speak to the lifeguards.’

If you ever find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following key safety advice:

  • Don’t try to swim against it, you will quickly get exhausted
  • If you can stand, wade don’t swim
  • If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore
  • If you can’t swim – FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing
  • Always raise your hand and shout for help
  • If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Notes to editors

  • Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded here

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Media Engagement Placement (Southwest) on [email protected] or 07472979209, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].

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For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre

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.

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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.