RNLI ready once again to protect us on our Cornish coastline this year.
We might sometimes take them for granted, but this year the RNLI will once again be working hard to keep us all safe on our coastline. Their lifeguards will be patrolling Widemouth, Summerleaze, Black Rock, Crooklets and Sandymouth from May (subject to Covid restrictions being lifted) and Crackington Haven and Northcott from July.
RNLI lifeguards dealt with a staggering 17,356 incidents across the UK last year and of those, over half were incidents covering the southwest alone. The charity’s volunteer crew who provide a search and rescue service 365 days a year, launched to 1,345 incidents in the southwest last year.
The RNLI lifeguards who patrol the beaches across Cornwall and North Devon have seen an increase in visitor numbers and people using the water. RNLI’s Amy Caldwell told Bude Life “Water sports equipment is more affordable and accessible, the lifeguards are seeing more people surfing or paddle boarding – and later into the season too as wetsuit technology continues to improve.”
RNLI lifeguards are there to help beach visitors stay safe. At the start of the day, they identify a safe bathing area and mark it out with red and yellow safety flags. They position rescue equipment next to their patrol zones and monitor people in the water so, should anyone get into difficulty, the lifeguards are ready to respond immediately.
Lifeguarding is a proactive service, aimed at preventing incidents from happening in the first place, so a large portion of their day is spent advising members of the public about potential hazards and how to stay safe. Throughout the day, they advise beach users to swim between the red and yellow flags, to reduce the risk of bathers getting into trouble in the sea. If the sea conditions change during the day, they will move the flags accordingly and if conditions become too rough or dangerous during the day, the lifeguards will put up red flags, which indicate to the public it is not safe to enter the water.
RNLI lifeguards are trained in casualty care which means they are ready to respond to both major and minor first aid incidents, as well as missing children and assisting their emergency services partners in dealing with other incidents.
To find out ways to keep safe this year on our beaches, or to check out the latest updates including RNLI lifeguarding times – or if you would like to make a donation to the charity visit www.rnli.org.uk