RNLI warns of constantly changing conditions as lifeguards gear up for a busy beach season

With an extra hour of daylight to enjoy and some lockdown restrictions being eased on Monday, a trip to one of the region's beaches may become an appealing prospect.

With that in mind, the RNLI is gearing up for more visitors to our shores over the coming months.

Lifeguards have started their training at Sandhaven beach in South Shields ahead of restarting beach patrols at the end of May.

Lifeguards training at Sandhaven Beach, South Shields

Sandy Kerr supervises RNLI lifeguards and is expecting the spring and summer months to be busy.

He said: "We are expecting a lot more people to come down to the beach, like last year we had a lot more beach users than the years previous.

With the weather starting to get warmer, lifeguards are encouraging people to enjoy the seaside - but to be aware of some of the potential dangers.

Water rescues and minor first aid were among over a thousand incidents which RNLI lifeguards responded to across the North East and Yorkshire last year:

Lifeguard patrols return to Sandhaven Beach at the end of May

Geoff Cowan is based at Cullercoats Lifeboat Station. He said: "At the moment the water is probably at its coldest as it is all year - probably around six or seven degrees.

The RNLI is urging anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice along with the government's advice on travel and social distancing.

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