End of the busy summer season for RNLI lifeguards in East Dorset

Lifeguards News Release

After a busy summer keeping the public safe along the East Dorset coastline, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards will finish their daily patrols for the 2022 season this Sunday 25 September at 6pm.

Lifeguards rescue watercraft (RWC) or jet ski training in surf at Bournemouth Pier

RNLI/Oli Taylor

Lifeguards rescue watercraft (RWC) training in surf at Bournemouth Pier

The charity’s lifeguards in association with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council), will end their daily patrols at the remaining beaches - Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West, Sandbanks, and Boscombe East– on Sunday, 25 September.

Ed Stevens, RNLI Regional Lifeguard Lead for the South East, said:

‘We have had a very busy season in East Dorset, with hot weather and numerous visitors who have enjoyed the summer on our local beaches. Our lifeguards have spoken to thousands of people, letting them know about beach and water safety and how to stay safe and well in the sun. They have done amazing work keeping our beaches safe and trained intensely to ensure they stay in top condition and are physically ready for the service.

‘During their service, the lifeguards have dealt with missing children, minor and lifesaving first aid incidents, and responded to rescues. They anticipated situations and intervened as soon as possible because 95% of a lifeguard’s work is preventative. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our lifeguards for their professionalism, hard work and dedication they showed this season.’

Kester Sheppard, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for East Dorset, said:

‘As our teams in East Dorset are preparing to end their duty for the 2022 season this Sunday, we are reminding people to take extra care when heading to the coast during the coming months. The water temperature will drop significantly, so always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, check tides, weather, and sea conditions; and consider how might these factors affect your planned trip. Additionally, take the time to read the safety signage at the entrance of the beaches for any localised hazards.

‘If you get into difficulty, or if you see someone in difficulty on the coast or at sea, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

The lifeguards will be back for training in February next year and will start the 2023 service on the 7 April in a phased approach on selected beaches with the number of beaches increasing through the season. Until then, no off-season service will be operating in the region.

For those heading to the beach during these months, the RNLI’s off-season water safety reminder is also to Float to increase chances of survival:

1. Fight your instinct to thrash around.

2. Lean back and extend your arms and legs.

3. If you need to, gently paddle with the arms and legs to help you float.

4. Float until you can control your breathing.

5. Only then, call for help, swim to safety or continue floating until help arrives.

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Place, said: ‘We have seen an exceptionally warm summer season. With summer now at a close, I would like to extend my thanks to the RNLI for their support and diligence. They have played a key role in helping to ensure the safety of the many thousands of people that have come to enjoy our award-winning beaches, seafront and resort this year.’

Although this season is coming to an end, the recruitment for new lifesavers for summer 2023 has just started.

Kester continued: ‘This year we have recruited and trained 30 new lifeguards who have adapted well within our teams and got up to speed with the responsibilities of the job. We are always looking to welcome new lifesavers, so each year we organise live sessions where people can get to know us and learn more about lifeguarding.

‘Our next Lifeguard Taster Session will take place on Saturday, 8 October, from 10am to 1pm, at the RNLI College, Poole. The event is for anyone interested in joining our lifeguard team in East Dorset, including those not qualified yet, as we run courses locally. If you are interested, please email [email protected].’

To find out more about how you can be a frontline lifesaver and apply to be part of the lifeguarding team, please read the information available on the RNLI website.

Ends

Notes to editors

· Local authorities part fund the RNLI’s costs, which helps to meet the cost of lifeguard wages.

· To learn more about Float To Live, videos are available here and here.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Simona Matache, RNLI South East Media Placement, on 0779 0772665 or email [email protected], or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected], or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected]

RNLI online

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.

Lifeguards rescue watercraft (RWC) or jet ski training in surf at Bournemouth Pier

RNLI/Oli Taylor

RNLI Lifeguard on rescue watercraft (RWC) at Bournemouth Pier
Red and yellow lifeguard flags at Bournemouth beach on a busy, sunny summer day

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Red and yellow lifeguard flags at Bournemouth beach on a busy, sunny summer day

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.