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RNLI lifeguard patrols reduce on many south west beaches for the 2023 season

Lifeguards News Release

The RNLI is urging people to be cautious when visiting the coast this autumn, as lifeguard conclude their patrols across many south west beaches on Sunday (24 September) for the 2023 season.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

During the peak summer season, RNLI lifeguards operate on over 90 beaches across the south west region. As we move into the autumn months, the RNLI continue to use a staggered approach to withdraw the lifeguard service based on a variety of factors including visitor numbers, previous incident statistics and local hazards.

From this Sunday, the following beaches will be patrolled weekends only into October, and then daily from 21 to 29 October - Bantham, Tregonhawke, Praa Sands, Towan, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan, Gwithian, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Croyde, Summerleaze and Le Braye (Jersey).

The following beaches will be patrolled every day until Sunday 29 October - Fistral, Perranporth, Porthmeor and Sennen.

Woolacombe will be patrolled every day until 1 October, and then on weekends only until 21 October. It will then be patrolled daily for the duration of the half term week, ending on 29 October.

Guy Botterill, RNLI Lifeguard Lead, says:

‘This time of year, the water is at its warmest and we tend to see an increase in swell, meaning bigger, more consistent waves, but this can also increase the frequency and power of rip currents.

‘As our full season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and patrols end on many beaches, we urge people to make best use of the beaches which still have RNLI lifeguard patrols and choose to visit one of these. The lifeguards on duty can advise on local hazards and continually assess the conditions throughout the day positioning red and yellow flags in the safest area to swim and black and white flags in the safest area to surf.’

If you visit a beach without RNLI lifeguard patrols, be aware of the conditions and always carry a means of calling for help. If you ever see anyone in trouble in the water, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

To find your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and check its season dates, please visit:

RNLI Float to live advice:

· Tilt your head back with ears submerged

· Relax and try to control your breathing

· Move your hands to help you stay afloat

· Once you are over the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety

· In an emergency call 999 or 112– if you are at sea or on the beach ask for the coastguard

Media Contacts

For more information, please contact Anya Walton Media Engagement Placement at [email protected] or 07890066217 or Emma Haines Regional Media Officer at [email protected] or 07786668847.

Notes to editors

· More information on how to Float to Live:

· The RNLI is proud to work in partnership with local authorities and beach owners to make our beaches safer for everyone.

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.