Posted: 16.06.20 at 16:09 by The Editor
The RNLI has announced that a further nine beaches in Cornwall will have lifeguard cover from Saturday 20 June, bringing the total to 24.From Saturday Tregonhawke, Sharrow, Portreath, Chapel Porth, Holywell Bay, Treyarnon, Harlyn, Trebarwith and Crooklets will join those with lifeguard posts already at Sennen, Porthmeor, Hayle Towans, Poldhu, Praa Sands, Watergate Bay, Gwithian, Fistral, Mawgan Porth, Polzeath, Constantine, Perranporth, Widemouth, Porthtowan and Summerleaze.The RNLI says it is now confident it can provide a more comprehensive lifeguard service this summer safely, despite the continuing challenges created by the pandemic. The first few weeks having lifeguards back on beaches has helped them to properly test the new ways of operating and reassured everyone that plans can be accelerated and expanded.Despite this huge boost to lifeguard cover, all the agencies concerned continue to strongly advise caution on beaches if going into, or onto, the water, and to remember that social distancing is still essential to combat the health pandemic.Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “This further expansion of lifeguard cover is a great comfort to beach users, and we must all thank the RNLI for making these arrangements in such unusual conditions.”“But lifeguards and lifeboat crews would be the first to warn that we still have to respect the sea and respect the virus. Neither is to be disregarded in our keenness to enjoy the seaside, and both are a very real and present danger. Please check sea, tide and weatherconditions before setting off and take note of lifeguard flags and instructions. Keep that social distance, even when parking your car, and on beaches that have no lifeguards be wary of going into the water. It puts not only you and your family at risk, but anyone who attempts a rescue if you get into difficulty.”The same advice applies to pleasure boating or to children with inflatables. Lifeboat crews remain on standby for any boating incidents, so if you see anyone in distress phone 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard. Facilities such as toilets, shops and cafés have not yet reopened, so please plan your outing accordingly, and do take your litter home if you can’t find an empty bin. If you park your vehicle illegally, or where it may impede emergency services getting to and from a beach, you risk a fine and it being towed away. Please be thoughtful, as some seaside approach roads are narrow, and you must bear social distancing in mind even when parking.