On Saturday 28 May the RNLI opened the doors of its first north Wales lifeguard units, as the charity offers beach safety advice and assistance on Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches.
Working in partnership with Denbighshire County Council the charity’s lifeguards were ready at their posts from 10am on Saturday.
The newly trained lifeguards have already been welcomed into the community by the volunteers at Rhyl lifeboat station as they work alongside the lifeguards to help keep people safe on the Denbighshire coast this summer.
RNLI lifeguards assisted over 900 people on 32 beaches in Wales last year; but the charity have increased its beach safety service in Wales this year to a total of 39 beaches. As well as Rhyl and Prestatyn, this year the RNLI provide a new lifeguard service on four beaches in Bridgend as well as working with the National Trust on Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea.
Peter Rooney, North Wales Lifeguard Manager said:
‘The RNLI lifeguards have now all completed their training and are looking forward for the start of the new safety service in Rhyl and Prestatyn. The lifeguards will be working closely with the volunteer lifeboat crew this summer to help make sure that families enjoy a safe day on the beach.’
RNLI lifeguards closely monitor the area between the red and yellow flags which are placed daily, as well as moved, by the lifeguards on the beach depending on the tide.
Peter encourages the public to be aware of the tide to help stay safe on the beach this summer:
‘It’s very important to check tidal times when visiting the coast. It easy to go for a walk on a nice sandy beach only to find that the tide has come in and you’re suddenly cut off and in danger. If you do find yourself cut off its very important that you don’t attempt to wade through the water to dry land – this can be very dangerous. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard who will then send for help. Remember, the lifeguards are more than happy to advise you on local tide times so please approach the team and ask for some tips at the start of your day.’
Councillor Huw Jones, Denbighshire County Council Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Youth said:
‘Denbighshire County Council is pleased to be working in partnership with the RNLI and this ‘open door’ event demonstrates the professionalism and high standards we have come to expect from the RNLI. We look forward to working with them to deliver a first class beach lifeguard service for both Rhyl and Prestatyn this summer.’
This year RNLI lifeguards will be providing a daily safety service from 10am-6pm on 39 of Wales’ busiest beaches over the busy summer months. For more tips on how to stay safe on the coast this summer visit the RNLI website www.rnli.org.uk/beachsafety or download the charity’s beach safety mobile app.