Since lockdown restrictions began to be eased in May, the RNLI has worked hard to roll out professional lifeguard patrols across the country.
This weekend (July 4), that number will increase to more than 160, including at Mablethorpe. This service adds to that at Skegness, which went live in June.
New measures to deal with the coronavirus mean the RNLI lifeguard service looks a little different this year.
Lifeguards will wear PPE like ambulance crews in some situations, and new protocols for all first responders mean the lifeguards may not deal with some minor first aid cases but will support people to treat themselves.
The lifeguards will also try to keep socially distant from beach goers, and may need to adopt different patrol methods at times, such as not using the red and yellow flags and asking people to keep apart but close to shore, to help keep people safe while maintaining social distancing.
The charity is also continuing to urge anyone planning to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice. Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember to:
• 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
Darren Lewis, RNLI Lifesaving Manager for the North and East said: “With schools not yet fully open and restrictions on foreign travel, we know that this could be the busiest summer ever for both our lifeguards and our lifeboat crews. I want to thank all those lifeguards who have already started their patrols or are now preparing to get back on the beach – they know this will be a challenging summer and are doing a brilliant job helping to keep the public safe during this pandemic.
“We must all continue to be aware that the risks from the pandemic have not gone away, but if people work with us and the other emergency services by following social distancing and other Government guidance, we hope to be able to continue to provide lifeguard services this season.
“I’d like to thank all our partners – from Her Majesty’s Coastguard, to local councils and landowners – who are also working hard to help us patrol as many beaches as possible.’