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More lifeguards deployed for half term

RNLI lifeguards Kaifen Phippen and Alex Sanger Anderson (Image: RNLI)

20 beaches will be patrolled

The RNLI is patrolling 20 beaches across the south west to help keep people safe during half term.

Between Saturday 21 October to Saturday 28 October, the following beaches will be patrolled every day from 10 am to 6 pm by RNLI lifeguards (Sunday 29 October will be 10 am to 5 pm due to the clocks going back):

Cornwall: Fistral, Perranporth, Porthmeor, Sennen, Tregonhawke, Praa Sands, Towan, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan, Gwithian, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze

Devon: Woolacombe, Croyde and Bantham

Jersey: Le Braye

As we approach the winter, the sea conditions become increasingly dangerous.

Storms that hit the south west coastline cause big swell which heighten the risk for those going in the sea.

The patrolled beaches are spread geographically around the south west coast, to enable people to choose a lifeguarded beach near to them.

Guy Botterill Regional Lifeguard Lead said:

‘This time of year, the water is at its warmest and we tend to see an increase in swell, meaning bigger, more consistent waves, but this can also increase the frequency and power of rip currents.

‘As we reach the October half term with patrols ending on the beaches this weekend, we urge people to make best use of the beaches which still have RNLI lifeguard patrols and choose to visit one of these.

‘The lifeguards on duty can advise on local hazards and continually assess the conditions throughout the day positioning red and yellow flags in the safest area to swim and black and white flags in the safest area to surf.’

You should never go to the beach alone. If you visit the beach outside of the lifeguards’ patrolling hours or visit a non-lifeguarded beach, you should make sure you’re with someone who is carrying a mobile phone so that you can call for help should you need it.

If you go into the sea and find yourself in a rip current, don’t fight against it. If you can stand, wade do not swim to shore. If you can’t touch the floor and have the energy, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.

If you don’t have the strength to swim, preserve your energy by floating. The RNLI’s Float to Live advice is:

· Tilt your head back with ears submerged

· Relax and try to breathe normally

· Move your hands to help you stay afloat

· It’s okay if your legs sink, we all float differently

· Spread your arms and legs to improve stability

If you get into trouble or see anyone else in difficulty along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

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