RNLI lifeguards preparing for a busy summer along east coast due to staycations
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been working with partners, through the challenges of lockdown, to recruit, train and prepare its lifeguards for a busy summer along the east coast.
The charity will deliver its usual lifeguard service across the area this year via its standard phased approach.
The first set of beaches will go on service at the start of May with the number increasing through the season until the school summer holidays.
In 2020, RNLI lifeguards in North East England and Yorkshire saved five lives, aided 1,939 people, and responded to 1,117 incidents.
These included water rescues, minor first aid and helping to reunite missing children with their families.
The RNLI will provide a lifeguard service on 26 beaches in the North East and Yorkshire this summer, with the majority starting during May.
The charity is encouraging the public to follow Government advice on social distancing, travel and contact with others when visiting the beach.
Daniel Cooper, RNLI regional lifesaving lead, said: “RNLI lifeguards are at the forefront of the charity’s lifesaving work, offering preventative safety advice to visitors and rescuing those in difficulty. They receive the best training and equipment, so they are able to deal with any emergency situation as professional first responders.
“Each year, the RNLI works in partnership with local authorities and landowners to set up and roll out the lifeguard service – a complex task even without the challenges of a pandemic.
“We are working with local authorities and landowners, who ask us to provide a lifeguard service on their beaches, to make sure the environment for lifeguards to return to is safe.
“We will continue to monitor the risk to our people and the public in relation to the pandemic.”
The RNLI is offering the following safety advice to people heading to the coast:
○ Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags (find your nearest section at rnli.org.uk/lifeguardedbeaches).
○ Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
○ If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.
○ In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.