RNLI lifeguards watch over West Sussex beaches for half-term
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards watch over West Sussex beaches for the half-term holiday (Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June), when people are expected to visit the coast to enjoy the summer sunshine.
The charity's lifeguards, in partnership with Arun District Council, carry on their daily safety patrols on some of the county's busiest beaches from 10am to 6pm, throughout the half-term holiday, which is from Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June.
Last year, almost half a million visitors enjoyed the beautiful beaches in the area, with RNLI lifeguards there attending 212 incidents and aiding 254 people.
For those heading to the beach this half term, the RNLI's top five safety tips are:
1. Swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
3. Check tide times before you go
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard as soon as you can. If you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.
Although the weather is getting warmer, the water temperature is still cold and can seriously affect your physical response. If you find yourself in difficulty in the water, try to keep calm and not panic or fight against any currents.
If you’re able to do so, lean back and extend your arms and legs to keep your mouth and nose out of the water. Float until you can control your breathing which should only take around one minute. Then call for help and raise your hand to attract attention or try to swim to safety.
RNLI lifeguards have all undergone comprehensive training and passed rigorous fitness tests to ensure that they are ready for a busy season ahead. 95% of the lifeguards’ role is preventative, and the teams will be on hand to offer friendly safety advice to visitors.
Thomas Ward, Seasonal RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in West Sussex, said:
'The charity's lifeguards in West Sussex spend a great amount of time developing their lifesaving and first aid skills to help visitors enjoy their time on the beach. We have worked closely alongside partners and local communities to ensure the beaches and lifeguard units are ready and equipped for the 2022 season.
Our teams are there to offer extra peace of mind to beachgoers so they can have a great day out in the sunshine. RNLI lifeguards will carry on patrolling the Littlehampton beach during the half-term holiday and are available to help anyone who gets into trouble. Our patrols in West Sussex went full time from 14 May and will continue through to 4 September.'
And Cllr Jacky Pendleton from Arun District Council, said:
'We are delighted to welcome back the RNLI to Littlehampton and Bognor Regis this summer. So many visitors and of course, our residents, love to enjoy the beach, so knowing the Lifeguards are in place brings peace of mind. We also urge those visiting the beach to follow all the sensible guidance the RNLI provide to keep themselves safe and able to enjoy the seaside as their safety is our main concern.'
The lifeguarded beaches where members of the public can swim safely over the half-term holiday from 10am until 6pm are:
- Littlehampton East (West)
- Littlehampton East (East)
A peak season service will also begin on other West Sussex beaches in time for the school holidays. On Bognor Regis daily patrolling will start on 9 July.
To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches
To find out more information about how to float and what to do if you find yourself caught in cold water visit https://rnli.org/safety/float
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [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