Lifeguards unlikely to be on duty on Borders beaches this summer

Lifeguards are unlikely to be on duty at a popular shoreline in the Scottish Borders this summer.

That's according to the RNLI who halted all lifeguard operations at the end of March as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

The charity says they'll only be able to patrol 30% of Berwickshire beaches during the hotter months.

30%

of Berwickshire beaches will be patrolled by lifeguards this summer.

70

beaches in the UK hope to be monitored by lifeguards by peak season.

Volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, to respond to emergencies. But the RNLI is urging people to avoid visiting the coast at the moment to stop to avoidable call-outs.

Michael Avril, from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, said: "We're asking people to be selfless not selfish - so not attending beaches at the moment.

"However, as lockdown starts to ease and people start to return to beaches - they will be covered by lifeboats on either side of the beach."

The RNLI has issued steps for members of the public to follow to keep safe while lifeguards are not monitoring beaches.

  • Take care walking near cliffs.

  • Check the weather forecast and tide times.

  • If you fall into the water, float to live.

  • In an emergency, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: "The RNLI is incredibly proud of its highly skilled lifeguards who work alongside the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews, HM Coastguard and other emergency services.

"RNLI lifeguards are professional lifesavers and will be essential when the lockdown is lifted and people head to our coastlines and enjoy our beautiful beaches.

"The current situation means that the operational logistics and training behind setting up a lifeguard service – normally in full swing at the moment – have had to stop.

"Re-establishing this infrastructure and distributing equipment to beaches will take time. And we must also make sure that conditions are safe for our lifeguards to provide an effective service – our priority remains the safety of our people and the public."