RNLI Lifeguards step up beach patrols this weekend
Lifeguards will begin patrols at 22 of the Westcountry's beaches this weekend, as the level of cover is stepped up for the bank holiday.
Some of the RNLI lifeguards in Devon and Cornwall have already been in action this year, responding to a number of incidents when they patrolled Cornish and Devon beaches during the Easter holidays.
The charity will begin its full-time summer cover of 22 beaches this weekend and then will extend that by a further 51 by July 6.
Senior lifeguard manager Steve Instance said the RNLI would encourage people to go to lifeguarded beaches: "The summer season is now upon us. Beachgoers are expected to make the most of the bank holiday weekend and that means that we expect the lifeguards to be busy."
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Between May and November last year, there were nearly 5.4 million visitors to the region's RNLI lifeguarded beaches and the charity's lifeguards dealt with 7,851 incidents, assisted 9,063 people and saved 36 lives.
The beaches in Cornwall that will be patrolled are Sharrow, Praa Sands, Gwithian, Hayle Towans, Porthmeor, Sennen, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Fistral, Towan, Watergate Bay, Treyarnon, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze.
In North Devon, RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling Croyde and Woolacombe beaches while on the county's south coast, Bantham and Sedgewell Cove will have full time lifeguard cover from this weekend.