RNLI lifeguards volunteer to provide daily service on Crantock over half-term

Lifeguards News Release

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards, along with members of Crantock Surf Lifesaving Club and Big Green Surf School, have come together to volunteer their time providing daily safety cover during the October half-term.

RNLI

RNLI and other volunteers at Crantock beach

Crantock, near Newquay, Cornwall, has an RNLI lifeguard service during the main summer season but patrols finished at the end of September, as part of the RNLI’s planned season end. There are currently 19 beaches across the south west with a lifeguard service until the end of this month, but the RNLI team in Newquay felt the situation at Crantock needed re-assessing due to the current conditions.

John Steadman, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the Crantock area explains,

‘The river bed of the Gannel estuary is currently meandering across Crantock beach creating large sandbanks and deep-water trenches. At different stages of the tide, these trenches and large sandbanks lead to the formation of rip currents. This is causing a significant increase in danger to water users at the beach and has caused safety issues all season with over 100 rescues carried out.’

The elevated risk, along with the predicted increase in visitor numbers, prompted the additional service response from the RNLI team in Newquay.

‘Due to the pandemic more people have continued to choose staycations within the UK and Cornwall has become a hotspot for tourists during these times. We knew Crantock would attract a half-term crowd due to its beauty, location and being surrounded by large campsites.

In the weeks leading up to half term we had some conversations with the different campsites within Crantock Parish to gauge how busy it might be. Most of them told us they were fully booked, which then prompted us to react and try to provide some level of lifeguard service, knowing how dangerous the beach can be.’

Many of the lifeguards, who have been busy working on the beaches all summer, put themselves forward to volunteer during half-term. Morrisons supermarket in Newquay are providing the volunteers with free lunches to keep them going whilst on duty, as part of their Community Champion programme.

John added:

‘Lots of our lifeguards stepped up to help as well as volunteers from Crantock Surf Club and Big Green Surf School and I feel proud of everyone willing to provide their expertise to give back to the community and keep a watchful eye. Also a big thank you to Newquay Morrisons for their kind gesture of free lunches for all the volunteers.

The first half of the holiday week has been very busy with rescues taking place across all our beaches. With a continued combination of strong winds and waves forecast over the next few days, you should always choose a lifeguarded beach and visit between operational hours (10am-6pm). Check the tide times and surf report and always ask the lifeguards on duty if you have any questions regarding sea safety. Be aware of the forecast and strong offshore winds when using stand-up paddleboards or kayaks and never use inflatable toys. Always carry a means of commination such as a mobile phone, that you can access at all times.’

To find out more about the RNLI’s beach safety advice visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

Notes to editors

· Please find attached an image of RNLI volunteer lifeguards with volunteers from Crantock Surf Lifesaving Club and their free lunches gifted from Newquay Morrisons Community Champion programme (credit: RNLI)

· To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol

· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers visit: www.rnli.org/donate

· To support the RNLI’s lifeguard appeal visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SW-Lifeguard-Appeal-2021

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Media Engagement Placement (south west) on c_fitzpatrick-smith@rnli.org.uk or 07902 975993, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

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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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