Whoa! Averaging 66,000 Unique Weekly Readers! 

Local News

RNLI urges coastal visitors to stay safe as lifeguard season draws to a close

2 Mins read
RNLI Lifeguard
RNLI Lifeguard

As school summer holidays come to an end, patrols on some RNLI lifeguarded beaches in Northern Ireland will finish this Sunday (6 September). Weekend lifeguard cover will continue on four Northern Ireland beaches until the end of the month.

Members of the public are being urged by the charity to take extra care and be responsible when visiting the beach by knowing their limits and not taking risks. Despite the Coronavirus situation and the challenges posed by lockdown restrictions earlier in the year the RNLI has worked with local authorities and other partners to provide lifeguards on nine Northern Ireland beaches this summer; Benone Strand, Castlerock, West Strand, East Strand, Whiterocks, Ballycastle, Portstewart, Tyrella and Cranfield.

After 6 September the following beaches will be operational on weekends only from 11am to 7pm until Sunday 27 September; Benone Strand, West Strand, East Strand and Whiterocks.

RNLI lifeguards have adapted to new protocols this season due to the pandemic, to protect themselves and the public. This has included wearing PPE, enhanced cleaning of equipment and maintaining a 2-metre distance from others while carrying out their role unless involved in a rescue at sea. One day on Castlerock beach alone saw lifeguards rescuing six people caught in strong offshore winds at sea. Lifeguards on East Strand beach have been dealing with three times the amount of incidents they would normally expect in a season.

RNLI lifeguards deal with a range of incidents, from sea rescues, to first aid and lost children. Karl O’Neill, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘It has been an extremely busy summer for RNLI lifeguards with huge numbers of people visiting beaches in Northern Ireland. Our lifeguards have worked really hard and done a fantastic job of keeping people safe at the beach while working in a pandemic. They deserve great credit for the commitment and dedication they have shown.

‘The majority of our lifeguards’ work is preventative so as well as the rescues and incidents they were involved in, they will have stopped many more potentially dangerous incidents before they occurred.’

Karl, continued: ‘We know many people are still on furlough and not holidaying abroad, so it’s likely more people than usual will be visiting the coast this September. If you’re visiting the beach, take note of the safety signage at the entrance, go with a friend or tell someone on the shore where you’re going, and always be aware of the conditions and your own capabilities in the water. People walking on the coast should check the weather forecast and tide times before setting out and carry a means of communication.’

Alderman Mark Fielding, Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens added ‘RNLI Lifeguards provide a vital service on beaches around the Causeway Coast and Glens area, educating beach goers and keeping residents and visitors safe. While our coastline is beautiful and inviting, the ocean can also be perilous and unforgiving, and we owe the RNLI a debt of gratitude for everything they do.’

‘With the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have welcomed large numbers of people to our beaches this summer, and the lifeguards have done an incredible job, especially given the challenges of working during a pandemic.’

If you’re planning a visit to a beach or the coast please follow this safety advice:

– Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

– Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water

– Don’t allow your family to swim alone

– Don’t use inflatables

– If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float

– In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

RNLI lifeboat crews have been operating throughout the pandemic and continue to be on call 24/7 ready to respond to emergencies when their pager goes off.

11449 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Related posts
Local News

Coleraine man denies charges following alleged incident in area of McDonalds

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppA COLERAINE man who denies accusations of driving while unfit and being in charge of a vehicle while unfit in relation to…
Local News

Night shift railway worker caught speeding in early hours

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppA NIGHT shift railway worker caught speeding in the early hours of the morning has been given four penalty points and fined…
Local News

Call-out mechanic caught speeding

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppA MECHANIC who was on an emergency call-out to repair a broken down farm vehicle was detected speeding. Leslie Wallace (44), of…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *