Members of the public should be advised that there will be no lifeguard service on beaches in Causeway Coast and Glens over the Easter period.
In previous years, the RNLI has provided beach lifeguard cover on behalf of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council at Benone Strand and in Portrush at West Bay, East Strand and White Rocks.
The decision to temporarily suspend lifeguarding at these beaches has been taken in accordance with Government advice and has been applied throughout the United Kingdom.
During this time, the public are urged to exercise caution if they visit a beach and are asked to continue to follow guidance around staying at home and making only essential journeys. Remember to always maintain social distance and make sure to frequently wash your hands. Additionally, the public are asked not to take part in any activity that may place unnecessary strain on the emergency services.
Following the UK Government’s instruction for people to stay at home and avoid gathering outdoors due to the coronavirus outbreak, the RNLI has made the decision to immediately pause RNLI lifeguard patrols.
Lifeguards work and train in groups, which makes keeping the requirement to remain two metres apart difficult and the nature of their work with the public puts them and beach visitors at risk of close contact. Also, their usual activity includes encouraging people to visit patrolled beaches and swim in certain areas – this activity would go against the Government’s clear instruction for people to stay at home, maintain social distancing and not to congregate in groups.
It is hoped that once the current situation changes, and government guidance allows, beach lifeguard services will be reintroduced.