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RNLI lifeguards at Cranfield full time until September

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

RNLI LIFEGUARDS commenced full-time summer patrol of Cranfield Beach at the weekend.

Following a busy period of intensive training in preparation for the new season, the lifeguards will be keeping visitors safe on eight beaches along the Causeway Coast and three in Co Down.

The beaches include Benone, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart Strand, Portrush West, Portrush East, Whiterocks, Ballycastle, Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield.

From last Saturday (24 June) the RNLI will take up full time daily duty on all beaches continuing to Sunday, 3 September when weekend duty will then resume on selected beaches throughout September.

Lifeguards will be on the beach daily between 11am and 7pm on the Causeway Coast and between 10am and 6pm in Co Down.

As the good weather continues, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Karl O'Neill is expecting a busy start to the season.

"Pre-season preparations have went well and our lifeguards are ready and looking forward to getting back on the beaches and doing what they do best, providing beach safety advice to visitors and helping out anyone who might find themselves in difficulty either in the water or on the beach itself.

"We would remind anyone planning a trip to the beach to be mindful that particularly at this stage in the season the water is still cold. Come dressed for the weather conditions to ensure your visit is both safe and enjoyable." The RNLI has been working closely with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to ensure the beaches and lifeguard units are ready and equipped and that lifeguard training and preparation has been carried out "seamlessly and successfully".

The RNLI's advice for anyone planning a trip to the beach is to respect the water, check weather and tide times before you go and if planning to go into the water, swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags. Avoid using inflatables in strong winds or rough seas.

If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help and if you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Last year, lifeguards in Northern Ireland responded to 235 incidents coming to the aid of 255 people. Incidents ranged from saving a life, carrying out a rescue, assisting a casualty, providing casualty care and minor first aid to being involved in searches, near misses and incidents involving missing and found people.

The lifeguards also worked closely with their colleagues at Portrush, Newcastle and Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat stations.

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