Lifeguards report for duty as new service launches
- Credit: Phil Shepperd
Sidmouth Lifeboat began its new lifeguarding service on Sidmouth beach last week.
Lifeguards will now be on duty for the school summer holidays, operating from 10am to 6pm every day until Sunday, September 5.
The lifeguards will patrol Clifton Beach from their well-equipped base at the western end of the Esplanade.
All beach users should note the flags that are in use. The red and yellow flagged area is for swimmers and body boarders only - all boats, kayaks, surfboards and paddleboards should keep clear (lifeguards will politely ask you to respect this).
The lifeguards are fully equipped with rescue boards, radios, a comprehensive first aid kit and an oxygen cylinder. An automated defibrillator is kept in the base unit at all times.
A spokesperson from Sidmouth Lifeboat said: “Sidmouth Lifeboat has been looking to provide a lifeguard service for some time, as it has long been recognised that there are safety issues around the rock groynes in certain tide and wind conditions. It is also very appropriate as the organisation actually began as a Surf Lifesaving Club way back in 1968 - and we are delighted to have the grandson of one of the founders now working as a lifeguard.”
The service is provided - free of charge - in conjunction with East Devon District Council and its Beach Safety Officer. Sidmouth Lifeboat says that it is “extremely grateful” for the extensive help and support provided by the RNLI.
The spokesperson added: “All of the lifeguards are local young people who have been itching to get started since completing their comprehensive training a few weeks ago. We hope they have a great summer and that all beach users will help them to keep the beach safe.”
Henry Williams and Eve Cockayne were the first to start their shifts last week, alongside Lifeguard Supervisor, Guy Russell and Lifeguard Project Manager, Andrew Dean.
Other guards who took up their shifts later in the week were Josh Miller, Kellen Hamilton, Josh Tatlock, Henry Williams, Josh Roberts and Kate Marriott.
Current and former lifeboat volunteers - Martin Barnard and Maddie Todd, who are both fully qualified lifeguards and able to fill in when needed - provided backup support.