RNLI lifeguards will begin their patrols on more beaches in Devon this weekend (Saturday, July 6) for the peak summer season. Patrols will begin at Blackpool Sands, Slapton, Hope Cove and Bigbury north in the South Hams. In East Devon, patrols will begin at Sandy Bay, Teignmouth and Dawlish from this weekend.

RNLI Lifeguards will continue their daily patrols from 10 am till 6 pm on these beaches until Sunday 1 September.

The RNLI works in partnership with local authorities and private beach owners each year to set up and roll out a lifeguard service, at their request.

Setting up a lifeguard service each season involves several elements, including recruiting and training lifeguards and organising the logistics to deliver equipment, and in some cases, lifeguard units, to each beach.

RNLI lifeguards old and new in Devon have spent the last month going through inductions and pre-season training, which has included essential skills in casualty care, fitness testing, lifesaving skills in and out of the water and watercraft operations.

This time of year, is the start of the busiest period for RNLI lifeguards with the school summer holidays fast approaching and as ever the RNLI wants people to enjoy coming to the coast but to do so safely.

Rob Stuteley, Lifeguard Supervisor for Kingsbridge and the South Hams said:” Our lifeguards have spent the last few weeks going through inductions and training to make sure they are ready for the new season.

“They are excited to be back on the beaches doing what they do best, offering preventative advice and a top-quality lifesaving service.

“As ever, we want people who are coming to the coast to enjoy themselves this summer but to do so safely.

It is our strong advice that people head to a lifeguarded beach, swim and bodyboard between the red and yellow flags and if you want any advice to ask an RNLI lifeguard.”

The RNLI is urging anyone visiting the coast this spring to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice which can be found on their website.