Busy time for North Devon lifeguards
LAST month's good weather meant a busy time for North Devon's RNLI lifeguards as thousands of visitors descended on the beaches to make the most of the sunshine. The glorious weather coupled with the combination of consistent surf and strongoff shor
LAST month's good weather meant a busy time for North Devon's RNLI lifeguards as thousands of visitors descended on the beaches to make the most of the sunshine. The glorious weather coupled with the combination of consistent surf and strongoff shore winds, on some days saw in excess of 9,000 people at Woolacombe beach with many hundreds cooling off in the sea. The popularity of the beaches led to a variety of RNLI rescues and incidents involving members of the public. RNLI lifeguard equipment including the Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB), RescueWater Craft (RWC), Rescue Boards and first aid equipment wereput to good use on many occasions, with major and minor first aid incidents being a large contributor to lifeguards being very busy for long periods of time.Since the lifeguard season started (1 May) the four beaches covered by the RNLI, - Woolacombe, Croyde, Westward Ho! and Sandymere - have had up to 18,000 beach users at any one time and lifeguards have carried out 57 rescues, assisted 25 people, dealt with 82 first aid incidents and 56 lost and found situations along with one search. Gully Wootton, Lifeguard Supervisor for North Devon, said: "We would like to stress that when people visit the beach they should take a few precautions to maximise the chances of a fun and a safe day out. "Always go to a lifeguard patrolled beach. If swimming or body boarding, go between the red and yellow flags. Surfers and kayakers should go between the black and white chequered flags. "Always use a high factor sun cream and keep young children in view and accompanied whenever possible."Further information on beach safety can be found on the RNLI's website www.rnli.org.uk or visit the lifeguards on your local beach - most of all try to choose a lifeguarded beach.