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RNLI issues safety advice as 2016 lifeguard season draws to a close

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguard patrols are due to finish on the majority of beaches across Cornwall and Devon this weekend as the summer draws to a close.

As in previous years, lifeguards will remain on duty into October on a number of the region’s busiest beaches for those people wishing to get into the water in the autumn.

This Sunday (25 September) sees the official end to the RNLI lifeguard season in Cornwall and Devon.  However due to increasing numbers of people looking to spend time at the beach out of season, the charity will continue to provide safety cover on a number of beaches on the following dates:

1-2 October, 8-9 October, 15-16 October and half term week 22- 30 October.

The beaches with lifeguard cover are: Woolacombe, Croyde and Bantham in Devon; and Praa Sands, Sennen, Porthmeor, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Watergate Bay, Polzeath and Widemouth in Cornwall.

At Summerleaze, volunteer RNLI lifeguards along with volunteers from Bude Surf Lifesaving Club will patrol the beach to provide the same cover in October.

Fistral beach in Newquay will have lifeguard cover every day throughout October and voluntary patrols during weekends in November. At Mawgan Porth the RNLI will run advisory patrols during half term to advise visitors on how to stay safe at the beach.

Steve Instance, Senior RNLI Lifeguard Manager, says: ‘It has been a very busy season for our lifeguards; we have seen huge numbers of people coming to beaches in the south west over the summer.

‘Each year RNLI lifeguards deal with a whole range of things, from sea rescues, to first aid incidents and lost children. Our lifeguards have worked really hard and have once again done a fantastic job of keeping people safe at the coast this summer.

‘As in previous years, patrols on some of the busiest beaches will be extended into October, so where possible we would encourage people heading to the coast at weekends and during half term to visit these lifeguarded beaches.

‘Those who can't make it to a lifeguarded beach can help keep themselves safe by taking note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, going with a friend or telling someone on the shore where they are going, and being aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water.

‘Autumn can see big spring tides and bigger swell around the coast. People walking on the coast should always check the tide times before setting out and carry a means of communication. The bigger swells mean more unpredictable rip currents in the water so people should take extra care. Anyone in difficulty in the water should try not to panic or fight against any currents, hold onto anything buoyant they have, call for help and raise their hand to attract attention and try to keep their head above water.’

The RNLI’s advice is not to enter the water if you see someone in trouble but rather to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.


Note to editors
Attached photos show RNLI lifeguards at work. Credit- Idenna

RNLI media contacts
For further information, please contact either Chlӧe Smith, RNLI Press Officer, on 07920 818807 or email chloe_smith@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Public Relations Manager Emma Haines on 07786 668847 or email emma_haines@rnli.org.uk.

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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