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RNLI lifeguards ready for summer season on Hampshire and Isle of Wight beaches

Lifeboats News Release

With the school summer holidays just under a week away, lifeguards trained by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the charity that saves lives at sea, have begun patrolling local beaches in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

RNLI Lifeguards on patrol in Southsea

RNLI

RNLI Lifeguards on patrol in Southsea

Clearly identified in their distinctive red and yellow uniforms, the lifeguards, who receive world class training and equipment, are now stationed on three of Hampshire’s most popular beaches – Southsea East, Southsea Central and Southsea West as well as at Sandown on the Isle of Wight.

The RNLI lifeguards are taught a variety of life-saving techniques as well as advanced first aid skills and began working on the four beaches on Saturday 8 July. They will be there seven days a week, (10am – 6pm), until Sunday 3 September.

‘Our lifeguards have undergone intensive training to ensure people enjoying these beaches on the Isle of Wight and at Southsea are as safe as possible,’ said Lifeguard Supervisor Gareth Lathwood.

'The lifeguards use red and yellow flags to clearly show the area they are covering and we would urge swimmers to stay within these zones.’

RNLI lifeguards aim to reach any casualty on RNLI patrolled beaches, up to 300m from shore within the red and yellow flags, within three and a half minutes.

‘The lifeguards have a detailed knowledge of the local risks and hazards at each of the beaches they patrol and the RNLI provides them with a variety of rescue equipment which is suited to the particular conditions at each of our beaches,’ added Gareth.

Equipment provided to the lifeguards is matched to the local conditions and could include all-terrain vehicles, rescue watercraft and rescue boards, which are based on a surfboard and are a lifeguard’s primary rescue tool.

Lifeguards are also kitted out with rescue tubes which can be wrapped around a casualty and are particularly useful for conditions close to rocks and man-made structures such as cliffs and piers. They also carry casualty care bags enabling them to respond quickly and effectively to a wide range of illnesses and injuries which can occur on the beach.

More than 240 UK and Channel Island beaches were patrolled by over 1,300 RNLI lifeguards last summer. They dealt with 17,414 incidents and helped 20,538 people. Incidents ranged from slips, trips and stings to more serious water rescues. In total they saved 127 lives.

Training and equipment for the lifeguards is provided by the RNLI while contributions from local authorities and beach owners help cover the lifeguards’ wages.

Photo caption: RNLI lifeguards return to the beaches.

Ends

RNLI media contacts

  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207416 07786 668825 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • Gareth Lathwood, Lifeguard Supervisor, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and West Sussex.
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 237 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 180 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.

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 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland

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 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 or by email.