RNLI lifeguards are returning to Burnham-On-Sea and Berrow beaches from this weekend for the peak summer season.
And in the run-up to the start of their patrols, the lifeguard teams have been holding safety talks and going into local schools to teach children how best to stay safe this summer.
Patrols will begin in Burnham on Saturday 5th July and will run daily between 10am and 6pm until Sunday 7th September.
The team has been busy preparing for their return by taking part in a two-week induction programme, refreshing their skills before they go back on duty.
During their educational sessions with children, the lifeguards have been talking to the youngsters about the different flags, lifeguard equipment, possible hazards on the beach and how to stay safe if they get into trouble.
One of the schools visited was Berrow Church of England Primary School. Head teacher Heather Hector told Burnham-On-Sea.com that it’s been a great opportunity for the children to learn about their local beach.
“We believe it is very important that our children keep being reminded about being safe at the beach. As we all live so close to the beach for many of our children it is their local playground so knowing how to stay safe is really important. The children liked dressing up in the props that the team brought as it helps to make it come alive when they are actively involved,” she said.
During the past month the lifeguards have also worked with their colleagues at Burnham-On-Sea lifeboat station, BARB Search & Rescue and Burnham Coastguards to teach 120 children from the Birmingham area about beach and sea safety during a visit.
The lifeguards will be positioned in temporary units at Burnham-On-Sea and Berrow beaches, which will be removed after the season.
Ross Leighton, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for Berrow, said: “Our lifeguard team is very much looking forward to returning to the beaches for the summer season. At the moment they’re busy undertaking a two-week intensive induction process, which is vital for ensuring all the lifeguards receive the same high quality training before going back on the beaches. Topics include rescue theory and practice, as well as communication skills, first aid and beach familiarisation.”
“We encourage people heading to the coast to visit an RNLI lifeguarded beach where our team of highly professional lifeguards will be on hand to assist people; and swim between the red and yellow flags which marks out the safest swim zone on the beach. Our lifeguards are also there to offer advice, so please speak with them to find out the local dangers, tide times and conditions.”