RNLI lifeguards return to East Dorset beaches for half-term
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards return to watch over East Dorset beaches ahead of 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 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council) and Swanage Town Council, will be operating daily safety patrols on some of the county's busiest beaches from 10am to 6pm, starting on Saturday 28 May, throughout the half-term holiday that ends on Friday 3 June.
Last year, almost three million visitors enjoyed the beautiful beaches in the area, with RNLI lifeguards there attending 1,744 incidents and saving 12 lives.
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.
Steven Chizlett, Seasonal RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor in East Dorset, said:
'The charity's lifeguards in East Dorset 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 be patrolling eight beaches during the half-term holiday and are available to help anyone who gets into trouble.'
And Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Active Health at BCP Council, said:
‘We’re a top holiday destination and we’re honoured that millions of people chose our shores for their annual holiday or short break.
From our award-winning blue flag beaches with alfresco dining and drinks, to discovering our museums, galleries, open spaces, heritage trails and many local shops beyond the beach, we’re a safe and fun resort where everyone is welcome.
We’re gearing up for a spectacular summer with events starting soon, so we’re putting in place extra resources to ensure that we are fully prepared and ready to welcome residents and visitors over the whole summer.’
The lifeguarded beaches where members of the public can swim safely over the half-term holiday from 10am until 6pm are:
- Alum Chine
- Durley Chine
- Bournemouth Pier
- Boscombe Pier
A peak season service will also begin on other East Dorset beaches in time for the school holidays.
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
To find out more about how BCP Council are getting ready for summer visits:
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]
For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.
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