RNLI Lifeguards return to Cornwall beaches

May 09th, 2015

RNLI lifeguards have returned to Cornwall’s beaches as patrols for the 2015 summer season get underway. The RNLI red and yellow lifeguard uniforms are a welcome and familiar sight to visitors staying in cottages near a beach in Cornwall.

Patrols started on specific beaches on May 2nd, with more to be patrolled from May 16th. However, as better weather approaches, the RNLI is urging people that will be heading to the coast, to take heed of the charity’s safety advice.

Steve Instance, RNLI Senior Lifeguard Manager for the South West, said:

“It’s that time again when the RNLI lifeguards make a welcome return to beaches around the South West coastline. The lifeguard teams were on patrol on a number of beaches over Easter and saw lots of people making the most of the warm, sunny weather and good surf conditions. We’re hopeful for more sunshine going into May, but whatever the weather throws at us, we can expect the beaches to be busy as visitors and locals enjoy their holidays.”

RNLI lifeguards have spent the last few weeks visiting local primary schools in Cornwall as part of the Meet the Lifeguards programme, and estimate that they’ve spoken to over 18,000 school children about how to best stay safe on the beach.

Mr Instance advises beachgoers to head to RNLI lifeguarded beaches, and to swim and bodyboard only in the supervised area- marked out by the red and yellow flags. He also advises the following guidelines:

“If you are planning on getting in the water, it’s worth remembering that even though the weather has been warm, the sea temperature is still very cold- so it’s important people wear a suitable wetsuit and bring warm clothes to change into. Try and stay within your depth and follow the lifeguard’s advice,” he said.

“If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard, or if you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard”.

“It’s also important to check the tide times, which are available through local media, at the local lifeboat stations, harbour offices and at the entrance to all RNLI lifeguarded beaches or by searching your nearest beach online.

“Always take a means of calling for help in case you should get caught out.”

The RNLI beach finder app makes it easy for anyone heading to the beach this summer to find their nearest lifeguarded beach. It also provides important information including water quality, lifeguard patrol dates and times and hazard information.

To download the app, free of charge on Android and Apple devices, visit RNLI.org/beach.

Beaches currently patrolled in Cornwall as of May 2nd are: Tregonhawke, Tregantle (weekends only until July 4) and Sharrow, Whitsand Bay; Praa Sands, Porthmeor, Sennen, Gwithian, Hayle Towans, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Towan, Watergate Bay, Treyarnon, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze.

Patrols will begin on the following beaches from May 16th : Portreath, Poldhu Cove, Kennack, Gyllyngvase, Gwenver, Porthcurno, Porthminster, Godrevy, Upton Towans, Beach View, Mexico Towans, Chapel Porth, St Agnes, Perran Sands, Holywell Bay, Crantock, Great Western, Tolcarne, Porth, Mawgan Porth, Porthcothan, Booby’s, Trevone, Trebarwith, Black Rock, Crooklets and Sandymouth.

You can also find your nearest lifeguarded beach by visiting rnli.org

Image courtesy of Nathan Williams