Look who’s back! RNLI lifeguards set to return in the south west
RNLI lifeguards are preparing to return to several beaches across the south west in time for the Easter holidays.
In the south west, RNLI lifeguards will patrol 23 beaches across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Channel Islands from Saturday 9 April until Sunday 24 April. In Cornwall Tregonhawke, Praa Sands, Sennen, Porthmeor, Hayle, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Fistral, Towan, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze will be lifeguarded.
In Devon, Croyde and Woolacombe will be lifeguarded on the north coast, and Bantham and Exmouth on the south coast.
In Dorset, RNLI lifeguards will be on duty at Weymouth beach, and at Le Braye, St Ouen’s in Jersey.
Patrols will continue daily at Fistral, Perranporth, Porthmeor, Sennen, Croyde and Woolacombe until the end of September, while patrols on the other beaches will return daily for the summer on Saturday 30 April, following the Easter holidays.
For the last two weeks RNLI lifeguards have been busy with their pre-season inductions where they refresh their skills in casualty care, lifesaving techniques in and out of the water, water and land craft operations and fitness testing.
And as the season begins, RNLI figures reveal that in 2021, RNLI lifeguards covering the south west dealt with 11,216 incidents, aided 13,664 people and saved 57 lives. In comparison to 2019, the last full season unaffected by covid restrictions, RNLI lifeguards dealt with 10,527 incidents, aided 13,069 people and saved 69 lives.
Guy Botterill, Regional RNLI Lifeguard Lead for Cornwall said: ‘In the year where travel restrictions were in place and the region was incredibly busy with tourism, official RNLI statistics show that our lifeguard teams dealt with more incidents and aided more people.
‘The return of RNLI lifeguards for the Easter holidays is always a welcome sign and signals that summer is nearly upon us. Our teams across the south west have been working hard over the winter to ensure the beaches and lifeguard units are fully equipped and our lifeguards are trained to the highest standard. Pre-season preparations are well underway and our lifeguards are looking forward to getting back on the beaches and doing what they do best – offering preventative safety advice to visitors and rescuing those in difficulty in the water or on the beach itself.
‘We’re hopeful for good weather but it’s important to remember that the water is usually at its coldest at this time of the year and therefore increasing the risk of cold water shock. Also, the winter weather may have altered the conditions at your local beach, so it's important to familiarise yourself with any hazards.
‘We'd urge people to head to one of our 23 RNLI lifeguarded beaches this Easter and speak to the lifeguards to find out the local risks, tides and weather conditions. Be prepared for whatever water activity you have planned, and always have a means of calling for help. We wish you a safe and happy Easter.’
The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice:
· Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
· Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
· Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water – don’t allow your family to swim alone.
· 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 999/112 and ask for the Coastguard.
If you are a local business near the coast you can help the RNLI share key water safety messages and save lives by becoming a local ambassador. As a local ambassador you can help be the eyes and ears in your community by helping the RNLI share important water safety messages with more people. To find out more visit: https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/volunteering-opportunities/rnli-local-ambassador
Notes to editors
Interview and filming opportunities are available at Towan beach, Newquay, on Wednesday 6 April from 11am. The lifeguards will be training in the water on RWCs. Please contact Becky or Emma below to confirm your attendance, or requirements.
We also have spokespeople available for Devon and Dorset.
· *RNLI lifeguards will be on 23 beaches across the south west from Saturday 9 April to Sunday 24 April. These are:
o Cornwall – Sennen, Porthmeor, Gwithian, Hayle, Praa Sands, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Fistral, Towan, Watergate, Mawgan Porth, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Summerleaze, Tregonhawke
o Devon – Croyde, Woolacombe, Bantham, Exmouth
o Dorset – Weymouth
o Channel Islands – St. Ouen’s Le Braye
o Season dates will vary from Easter onwards and so people should visit the RNLI website for the most up to date information on when their chosen beach will be lifeguarded
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Becky Bright, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected]. or Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer on 07786 668847 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected].
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.
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries