Jersey RNLI lifeguards to finish for 2021 as charity urge caution over winter
RNLI lifeguards in Jersey will hang up their wetsuits at 5pm this Sunday (31 October) for the 2021 season, not returning to beaches until next spring, as the charity is reminding people using the coast over winter to take extra care and heed safety advice.
At this time of year the weather conditions are becoming more severe bringing strong winds and bigger, more powerful surf. After 5pm on Sunday (31 October), the lifesaving charity will no longer have an operational lifeguard service on any of the beaches in Jersey.
This safety warning comes after a busy season on the island with the lifeguard and lifeboat crews performing rescues to people getting into difficulty in the water and helping those on the beach who need it.
Jake Elms, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in Jersey, says:
‘It’s been a busy season from spring right the way through to this October half-term. The weather and sea conditions at this time of year can be severe and unpredictable and after 5pm this Sunday (31 October) there will be no safety cover from RNLI lifeguards. That’s why it’s really important for people to be extra cautious if they are thinking about entering the water.
‘Although the lifeguards have packed up until spring, the RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will continue to be on call 365 days a year ready to respond to emergencies. But to avoid putting yourself and our volunteers at risk, please heed the following safety advice this winter.’
- Always check tides, weather and sea conditions and be realistic about your level of ability. Winter is not the time to push your limits.
- Avoid going in the water alone. If you are planning to go for a kayak, surf or swim, always go with someone, have someone on the shore or at least let somebody know where you will be and what time you expect to be back.
- If you are an inexperienced water user, avoid isolated beaches that have a reduced footfall so that if you do get into difficulty, there is a chance someone will see you and raise the alarm.
- Take note of the signage at the entrance to the beach which will indicate any localised hazards. If in doubt, ask a local for advice.
- Always wear appropriate equipment, this includes a winter wetsuit, wetsuit hood, boots and gloves – the colder you get, the weaker your body will become, increasing your risk of getting into difficulty. We’d also suggest having warm clothing, a hot drink and a woolly hat for afterwards.
- If you find yourself in trouble, never abandon your craft, it will keep you afloat until help arrives.
- If you see somebody in difficulty, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Stay on scene until they arrive as this will aid the rescue, but please do not attempt to rescue them yourself.
To find out more about the RNLI’s safety advice please visit: https://rnli.org/safety
Notes to editors
· Please find attached an image of:
1. RNLI lifeguard patrolling at Le Braye beach (credit: RNLI)
· 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
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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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