Croyde and Woolacombe continue full time RNLI lifeguard service through October

Lifeguards News Release

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards will continue a daily service between 10am-6pm throughout October on Woolacombe and Croyde in North Devon, providing important safety cover into autumn.

Aloha Photography

North Devon RNLI lifeguards training with rescue boards

The RNLI work with local authorities and private beach owners to plan and fund the lifeguard service. This year the south west experienced huge visitor numbers resulting in an extremely busy season for the charity’s lifeguards.

Matt Whitley, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for North Devon says,

‘After a particularly busy season, people are continuing to make the most of UK staycations. As a charity the RNLI cover the cost of training and equipment needed by our lifeguards to do their vital work. We are very grateful for funding from the private landowners at Woolacombe and Croyde where their contribution covers the wages of our lifeguard team.

This season Parkin Estates ltd at Woolacombe and Park Dean Holidays at Croyde have responded to the increase in visitor numbers by putting public and beach safety first through additional investment in a lifeguard service.

The extended full-time service will patrol every day during October on both beaches. This enables visitors to enjoy the beaches with the reassurance of a lifeguard service keeping them safe and encouraging people to visit North Devon’s beautiful coastline later in the year.'

During the peak summer months, RNLI lifeguards operate on over 90 beaches across the south west region, but as we move away from summer, the lifesaving charity use a staggered approach to withdraw the lifeguard service based on a variety of factors including visitor numbers, previous incident statistics and local hazards.

As well as Croyde and Woolacombe operating a daily service, Bantham will continue a weekend-only service and will have full time daily cover during the October half term (23 – 31 October).

The five beaches in Devon that will conclude their RNLI lifeguard service this Sunday (26 September) are:

· Exmouth

· Sedgewell Cove (Bigbury-on-Sea)

· Challaborough

· Westward Ho!

· Sandymere

Matt continues;

‘For those wishing to continue using the water later into the season, we would urge them to travel to one the lifeguarded beaches, where RNLI lifeguards will be on hand to offer safety advise and respond should they be needed.

If this isn’t possible, please read the signage at the entrance to the beach, taking note of the hazards and ask a local. If in any doubt, don’t go in. If you ever see anyone in trouble in the water, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The charity has recently launched the RNLI South West Lifeguard Appeal with the aim of raising the funds needed to train the lifeguards to carry out their vital work. Dave Nicoll, Fundraising and Partnership Lead in the south west says,

‘RNLI lifeguards have been working extremely hard throughout spring and summer to deliver a world-class lifeguard service which will continue into autumn.

If you were helped by a RNLI lifeguard this summer, or if you simply want to make a kind donation, please visit our JustGiving page.

Without the generosity of your donations, they wouldn’t be able to stand on the beach keeping people safe.’

To make a donation to the RNLI’s South West Lifeguard Appeal, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SW-Lifeguard-Appeal-2021

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

Notes to editors

· Please find attached images of the RNLI North Devon team (credit: Aloha Photography)

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

· Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol

· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate

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.

RNLI online

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

Aloha Photography

2021 North Devon RNLI lifeguard team

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.