Denbighshire and RNLI lifeguard bosses are urging summer beach-goers in the county to stay safe as the charity’s peak lifeguard season kicked off last weekend.
From Saturday (2 July) the lifeguard service on beaches in Rhyl and Prestatyn will increase from a weekend only to a seven-days-a-week service ready for the busy summer school holiday period.
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Denbighshire Matt Jessop, who is predicting a busy summer season, is urging beach visitors to Respect the Water and always visit a lifeguarded beach.
It is the first season RNLI lifeguards have been on the beaches of Denbighshire in a new seasonal service run in partnership between the charity that saves lives at sea and Denbighshire County Council.
Since May, the lifeguards have been providing safety advice and assistance on Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches on weekends and have been involved in a number of incidents, including a joint rescue with Rhyl RNLI lifeboat volunteers earlier this month of a swimmer who had drifted about 700m offshore. From Saturday (2 July) lifeguards will be on the two beaches daily between 10am and 6pm until the end of the season on 4 September.
Matt said: ‘We’re really pleased to be working with Denbighshire County Council and it was great that Cllr Simmons and Cllr Mellor came and met our team today.
‘We are coming towards the busiest period of the year on the beaches and our lifeguards will be on hand every day throughout the summer to provide information and advice on safety to visitors.
‘We advise people to choose a lifeguarded beach and to always swim between the red and yellow flags. We’ll also be working closely with the RNLI’s volunteer crew at Rhyl lifeboat station and other agencies to keep people safe.’
Councillor Huw Jones, Cabinet Lead Member for Community Development, added: ‘Both Rhyl and Prestatyn’s coastal resorts get extremely busy during the summer months, and we are pleased to be working in partnership with the RNLI to ensure that visitors have a fun and safe environment in order to enjoy our beaches.’
The RNLI operates a lifeguard service on 39 beaches across Wales and more than 220 across the UK. In 2015 the charity’s lifeguards responded to 815 incidents and assisted 901 people on Welsh beaches.
For more information and advice on all aspects of beach and coastal safety visit the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign website at rnli.org/RespectTheWater.