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Vandals snap off flagpole at Poppit Sands RNLI Beach Lifeguard Unit

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI Lifeguard Managers have expressed disappointment after the beach lifeguard unit at Poppit Sands was vandalised.

Lifeguards turned up at the unit to begin their safety service at 10am on Wednesday (3 August) to find one of the two flagpoles on the top had been snapped off by people who had climbed up onto the roof of the building.

The flagpole usually flies the red and yellow flag to show the beach has an operational lifeguard service and the bill for replacing it will run into the hundreds of pounds.

As well as the vandalism to the unit, lifeguards and members of the public had to spend a considerable amount of time picking up beer cans left on the beach near the unit.

The RNLI lifeguards notified Dyfed-Powys Police and will work with officers to try and prevent further damage being done to the beach unit for the remainder of the season.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Michael Vincent said: ‘Luckily none of the lifeguards’ vital lifesaving equipment was damaged so our safety service on Poppit Sands was able to continue as normal.

‘But the flag does have an important purpose; it shows beach visitors that RNLI lifeguards are in operation and helps people locate lifeguards if they need help or assistance. The flags can also show people how strong the wind is and in which direction it is blowing.

‘We would appeal to those doing this damage to be mindful that the RNLI is a charity. Our lifeguards are an essential part of what is a seamless rescue service that saves lives from the beach to the open sea, funded by the generous donations of our supporters. The money spent on repairing this flagpole would be better spent on our core mission of saving lives at sea.

‘We would also appeal to everyone visiting Poppit Sands or any of the beautiful beaches in Wales to respect the environment and place rubbish in the bins provided.’

Dyfed-Powys Police have asked anyone with information on the incident to contact them on the phone number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows RNLI lifeguards at the Beach Lifeguard Unit at Poppit Sands before one of the flagpoles was snapped off. Credit RNLI.

Media contacts:

For more information please, contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer for the West region, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on chris_cousens@rnli.org

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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