Lifeguards to return to Lowestoft's South Beach

Lifeguards to return to Lowestoft's South Beach. Credit: RNLI/Nigel Millard/ITV News Anglia

Lifeguards will return to Lowestoft's South Beach this weekend as the RNLI continues to increase its life-saving service during lockdown.

The RNLI has so far rolled out lifeguard patrols to 47 beaches in the UK, including Gorleston and Sea Palling in Norfolk.

Now that new ways of working with new equipment have been properly tested, more beaches will be add to the list in the coming weeks.

The charity's hoping to have lifeguards back on 70 per cent of its usual beaches by early July, that's around 170 locations.

Ness Point, Lowestoft South Beach. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We are now confident we can provide a more comprehensive lifeguard service this summer safely, despite the continuing challenges created by the pandemic. The first few weeks having lifeguards back on beaches has helped us properly test the new ways of operating and reassured everyone that we can accelerate and expand our plans.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie
Lifeguards from the RNLI Credit: RNLI/Nigel Millard

More beaches, including Lowestoft will have patrols this weekend - bringing the total to around 80

The RNLI says that because of school closures and restrictions on foreign travel, this could be the busiest summer they've had for both lifeguards and lifeboat crews.

But new measures to deal with the Coronavirus mean the RNLI lifeguard service will look a little different this year.

  • Lifeguards will wear PPE like ambulance crews in some situations

  • Lifeguards may not deal with some minor first aid cases, but support people to treat themselves

  • They will try to keep socially distant from beach goers

  • They may need to adopt different patrol methods, such as not using the red and yellow flags and asking people to keep apart but close to shore to keep people safe and maintain social distancing.

The RNLI is reminding people to follow beach advice to keep themselves and their families safe:

  • 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