Senior Lifeguard Manager Darren Lewis said: ‘Today is a proud day for the RNLI in Littlehampton. As the charity that saves lives at sea, we are delighted to be establishing our 200th lifeguarded beach in a town that has a long-held association with the RNLI. Building on the expertise we have developed through 12 years of providing beach patrols, our new lifeguards have been training hard in preparation for the season’s opening on Saturday. They will work closely with our colleagues at the lifeboat station to provide a seamless rescue service from the beach to the open sea.
‘The service will be run under the watchful eye of Lifeguard Supervisor Oliver Cona, who already saves lives as a volunteer crew member on the Littlehampton lifeboat.’
After a period of intensive training in rescue techniques and casualty care, lifeguards will patrol both beaches at weekends from 4 – 25 May, then daily until 8 September. They will be on hand from 10am to 6pm to provide beach safety advice and first aid, as well as assisting anyone who gets into difficulty in the water.
Nigel Lynn, Chief Executive at Arun District Council said: ‘This is great news for the local community and for the thousands of tourists who visit Littlehampton each year, and is the result of a great partnership between the RNLI and Arun District Council.
‘We are extremely proud to be the 200th beach to be patrolled by the RNLI, a fantastic charity which helps to save hundreds of lives every year.’
The RNLI began first provided lifeguarding services in south west England in 2001, and in the following years the service has steadily expanded across the UK and Ireland. In 2012 RNLI lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents and assisted 16,414 on some of the UK and Ireland’s busiest beaches.
The RNLI’s new Beach Finder app enables users to search the UK for lifeguarded beaches and read up on local hazards. With real-time weather updates from the Met Office it also removes any doubt over whether to pack the umbrella or the sun cream! The app is available to download for Apple or Android devices at www.rnli.org/beach
RNLI media contacts
For further information please contact Philly Byrde, RNLI Press Officer, on 07786 668825 or firstname.lastname@example.org or
Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07785 296252 or email@example.com
For urgent out of hours enquiries, please contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.
Notes to editors
The RNLI encourages anyone planning a trip to the beach to follow these top tips:
1. Wherever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas.
3. Check tide times before you go.
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
For more information visit www.rnli.org/beachsafety