The RNLI has released its call-out figures for last year. Lifeguards helped nearly 12,000 people - that's down nearly two thousand on the previous year. The RNLI's Flood Rescue Team had their busiest year on record though, deploying 6 times in the West Country.
The RNLI says lifeboat crews in the South West rescued more than 1600 people last year. Beach lifeguards helped more than 11,000 people, a figure down on previous years because of poor summer weather.
The busiest beach was Perranporth where lifeguards dealt with more than 600 incidents.
Specially trained crew volunteers have this morning deployed to Bridgwater to be on standby for flooding.
The team departed from the charity’s base in Saltash with pre-prepared flood rescue kit, including a D class inshore lifeboat and a smaller inshore rescue boat.
They’re being joined by colleagues from around the charity’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset who will rendezvous with the south west team at 12.30pm.
Tourists heading to the South West's beaches over the bank holiday weekend are being reminded by the RNLI to stay safe. Despite the weather, the charity is anticipating a busy weekend. It's just started lifeguard patrols at 34 beaches across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.
Beachgoers are advised to swim and bodyboard in supervised areas marked out by red and yellow flags.