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No RNLI lifeguard service to operate at Bexhill-on-Sea in 2023

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) regrets that it will not operate a lifeguard service at Bexhill-on-Sea for the 2023 season.

Photo of RNLI rescue board: There will be no RNLI lifeguard service at Bexhill-on-Sea this summer.

RNLI/Paul Dunt

There will be no RNLI lifeguard service at Bexhill-on-Sea this summer.
Despite strenuous efforts to attract lifeguard candidates using targeted local advertising, comprehensive leafleting campaigns in local and neighbouring towns, recruitment fairs, and online engagement, the RNLI has encountered significant difficulties in a challenging recruitment climate in meeting its staffing requirements.

In light of these challenges, the decision has been taken not to operate the lifeguard base at Bexhill-on-Sea for Rother District Council this year. The Camber Sands lifeguard service will remain unaffected.

While lifeguards will not be stationed at Bexhill-on-Sea, the RNLI remains committed to ensuring the safety of visitors to the beach and aims to deploy a face-to-face team at Bexhill-on-Sea to provide safety advice throughout the season.

During the peak summer season, Rother District Council coastal officers and beach patrol will be present along Bexhill seafront offering first aid and sea safety advice, and raising appropriate sea safety flags when weather dictates.

Councillor Hazel Timpe, lead councillor for Neighbourhood Services, Tourism and the Joint Waste Contract at Rother District Council, said: 'While we’re obviously disappointed with this outcome, we know that the RNLI has made huge efforts to try to recruit the lifeguards and it is unfortunate that they have not been able to fill these posts.

'Our own council staff will continue to play their part in promoting beach and water safety, and I’m pleased that the RNLI is looking at providing a face-to-face team to give sea safety advice to our residents and visitors when they visit Bexhill seafront'.

The RNLI emphasises the importance of beach safety and urges everyone planning to visit the coast this summer to keep the following key safety points in mind:

Swim at a lifeguarded beach, if available.
Call 999 or 112 in an Emergency
Float to Live
Know the risks and what to do
Know your flags

The RNLI regrets any inconvenience caused by not operating a lifeguard base at Bexhill-on-Sea for the 2023 season. The organisation remains dedicated to saving lives at sea and preventing drowning and will continue to explore different routes to address recruitment challenges in the future.

For more information on beach safety, please visit the RNLI website at

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or [email protected], or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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 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.