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RNLI begins recruiting to put lifeguards on the beaches in Hastings for first time

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the RNLI, is putting a lifeguard service on the beaches in Hastings this summer, for the first time.

The lifeguards will be in place throughout the summer season with three lifeguard units on two of the area's most popular beaches - Pelham and Marina St Leonards. They'll be in place by July 8th at the latest.

The RNLI is recruiting for lifeguards in Hastings and also at two other beaches in East Sussex - at Bexhill and Camber Sands, where seven young men died last summer.

Rother District Council has now approved £50,000 for lifeguards, but has been criticised for previously rejecting an offer of a discounted service. The inquests into the deaths will take place at a later date.

Lifeguards will be places at beaches in Hastings, East Sussex Credit: PA Images

Successful lifeguard applicants will receive training in search and rescue, lifesaving and casualty care techniques. They'll also be training in using the latest lifesaving equipment including rescue boards, rescue tubes and defibrillators.

"I think working as a lifeguard has got to be one of the most rewarding jobs. Of course it’s incredible to be able to call the beach your office but far more importantly than that, you are there to make sure the public enjoy it in the safest possible way.

"But make no mistake. This is a demanding job requiring commitment, skill and a clear head. We want people with the courage, determination and the ability to draw on their training and make the right decision if someone’s life is in danger."

– Alison Head, RNLI
RNLI recruit for new lifeguards for Sussex beaches Credit: PA Images

Lifeguards have previously operated on beaches in the area, but that service was run by Hastings Borough Council and supported by Hastings and St Leonards Voluntary Lifeguard Club. The RNLI says it's hoping to continue to work closely with the Hastings and St Leonards Voluntary Lifeguard Club in the future.

"I am delighted that we agreed unanimously to work in partnership with the RNLI, who will provide our beach life guarding operation for this summer. The RNLI have an excellent reputation, and, I am sure, will do a fantastic job keeping our beaches safe."

– Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, Hastings Borough Council

In 2016 RNLI lifeguards on some 240 beaches dealt with 17,414 incidents and saved 127 lives.

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Double win for training partners at Reading half-marathon

Winner Andy Vernon crosses the finish line

Congratulations to the first finishers at the Reading half marathon.

Andy Vernon crossed the finish line first in an unofficial record time of 1:03:08.

Charlotte Purdue

His team mate and training partner from the Aldershot, Farnham and District athletics club, Charlotte Purdue, won the women's race.

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REPORT: Hitting Reading streets to raise millions for charity

Credit: ITV Meridian

On Sunday around fifteen and a half thousand runners will take to the streets for the 34th Reading Half Marathon.

The 13 point one mile race starts at the Green Park business complex, and goes through the town centre with passing spots including the university campus, the main train station, three Hospitals - including the Royal Berkshire - and ending at the Madejski Stadium.

Cary Johnston met some competitors ahead of the race.

Major flooding incident at Hastings skatepark

Fire crews are currently at the scene of what's being described as a major flooding incident in Hastings.

Fire crews were called to the Source skatepark on the A259 near the seafront at around 1:30pm this afternoon.

The Fire Service has now been given approval by the Environment Agency to start pumping the water away from the park, across the beach and into the sea.

The operation is expected to last well into the night.

"We can confirm it is not a burst water main, we’ve had a specialist team checking everything in the area and can find no faults with any of our assets. After much investigation the fault appears to be due to an internal sump pump which had failed, causing the basement to flood with groundwater – although this has yet to be confirmed as this is not a Southern Water asset."

– Southern Water

'Fuel bank' scheme used by 500 children in Hastings in less than a year

A 'fuel bank' that's been running for just under a year in Hastings has already helped more than 1,100 people - including 500 children.

The scheme gives foodbank users vouchers for gas or electricity so families don't have to choose between keeping the lights on and heating their home.

Jeffery Beale, manager, said: 'During the last few months, we’ve seen an increase in people coming through our doors for both food and fuel support, largely due to the roll out of Universal Credit in our area.

'With waiting times of up to six weeks before receiving any benefit means that not only those out-of-work are struggling, but also those in-work and on low incomes.'

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