According to the RNLI, lifeguards in the southwest coast of the UK have been kept busy over the Easter holidays with a combination of ideal weather and waves, and some large storms.
During the two-week holiday period, numerous rescues, casualty care, and preventative actions were carried out by RNLI lifeguards, and patrols are set to increase over the upcoming May bank holiday weekend.
RNLI is urging visitors to the region’s coastline to choose a lifeguarded beach as they expect large numbers of people to visit over the holiday weekend.
The organization reported rescuing four individuals in South Devon at Bantham Beach after they got into difficulty in a rip current.
In Cornwall, RNLI lifeguards saved two young people at Sennen beach, including a 23-year-old female swimmer struggling against a rip current who was safely paddled to shore on a rescue board.
RNLI lifeguards in North Devon undertook preventative work, gave out safety advice and dealt with multiple rescues over Easter, due to the surf and good weather making the beaches relatively busy for the time of year.
Two standout rescues were performed in Croyde by a lifeguard who returned swimmers to safety on a rescue board through the heavy shore break at low tide.
On the same day, two teenage boys were caught out by a rip current in the northern corner of Croyde beach, where an RNLI lifeguard swam out to the casualties with a rescue tube and safely returned the pair to the shoreline.
In an effort to educate beachgoers about the dangers of rip currents, Matt Whitley, Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for North Devon, said, “Rips can often be difficult to spot but can sometimes be identified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea’s surface.
The best way to avoid rips is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions.”
The RNLI is increasing patrols across the region’s coastlines, with full-time daily patrols set to begin from Saturday, 29 April until October 29 at various beaches.
From that date, lifeguards will return to Gwithian, Hayle, Constantine, Treyarnon, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Summerleaze, Porthtowan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Towan, Praa Sands, Sharrow, Tregonhawke, Bantham, Sedgewell Cove, West Bay, Weymouth, Croyde, Woolacombe, St. Ouen’s (Jersey), and Le Braye (Jersey).
Remaining beaches will begin patrols from Saturday 13 May or for the peak season from Saturday 1 July.
The RNLI is advising everyone to follow beach safety advice as the May bank holiday weekend approaches, such as visiting a lifeguarded beach, checking the weather forecast, tide times and reading local hazard signage, keeping a close eye on family members, and, in an emergency, dialing 999 and asking for the Coastguard.
Andy Halliday is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and an avid camper. He has been exploring the wilderness and camping in the great outdoors for over two decades, and his experiences have inspired him to write about the joys of camping and the beauty of nature.
As a camping enthusiast, he believes that spending time in the wilderness is not just a way to escape the daily grind, but also a way to connect with nature and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Andy has camped in various locations across the country and on two different continents. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with fellow campers.
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