Lifeguards return to our beaches this weekend

RNLI lifeguards will return to safety duty in Denbighshire this weekend as the charity urges visitors to take care at the seaside.

Lifeguards have completed all their training and will start their seasonal service on Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches on Saturday (27 May), offering safety advice and assistance to people venturing to the coast.

It will be the second year the charity’s lifeguards will keep people safe on the beaches, after the RNLI took over lifeguard operations from Denbighshire County Council in 2016.

Last year was a busy year for the lifeguards, who worked closely with the volunteers at Rhyl RNLI lifeboat station to provide a joined up beach and water safety service. Lifeguards rescued a number of people in difficulty in the water, dealt with some major first aid incidents and provided safety advice and assistance to thousands of beachgoers.

Incidents responded to by RNLI lifeguards last summer included rescuing five young children from the water at Prestatyn, the rescue of a stranded swimmer off Rhyl and treating a diabetic woman drifting in and out of consciousness at Prestatyn.

This year lifeguards will be on duty on both beaches every day between this Saturday (27 May) and June 3. Then there will be weekend only cover until 1 July, when the peak season begins. That runs until Sunday 3 September. Lifeguards are on duty between 10am and 6pm.

Matthew Jessop, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘It’s always an exciting time of year when our lifeguards begin their safety service and our team are trained and ready to go.

‘Beaches in the area are beginning to get busier as the summer weather arrives, but we urge people to respect the water and visit a lifeguarded beach, where there are trained professionals to help keep you and your group safe.

‘Even though the weather is warming up, the water temperatures at this time of year remain cold, so anyone thinking of venturing into the water should remember to properly equip themselves and be aware of the dangers of cold water shock.

‘Remember to swim between the red and yellow flags, where our lifeguards are on hand to help, and please do come and talk to one of our team if you have any safety queries.’

The lifeguard service is operated in partnership between the RNLI and Denbighshire County Council. Jamie Groves, Denbighshire’s Head of Facilities, Assets and Housing, said: ‘The Council is delighted to be working in partnership with the RNLI yet again this year.

‘This new way of working has been in operation for 12 months and this new approach continues to provide a first class beach lifeguard service along Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches.

‘The presence of lifeguards along our coastlines provides additional reassurance to the thousands of people that come along to enjoy our spectacular coastline over the summer months. We are delighted by the success of this initiative.'

RNLI lifeguards will patrol 38 beaches across Wales in 2017. Last year lifeguards across Wales responded to 1,271 incidents and rescued or assisted 1,436 people.

Posted on Tuesday 23rd May 2017