RNLI LIFEGUARDS set to begin their peak summer safety service this weekend are urging beach visitors in Ceredigion to think about their safety and ‘Respect the Water’.
From Saturday (July 1) lifeguards will start daily safety patrols on three more beaches – Borth, Clarach and Aberystwyth South – in good time for the summer school holidays.
RNLI lifeguards have been on duty on Llangrannog and New Quay beaches since May and Aberystwyth North, Tresaith and Aberporth since earlier this month, giving safety advice and assistance to beachgoers, including rescuing a teenage boy stranded on rocks at Llangrannog beach.
Now Michael Vincent, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, expects the start of peak season to usher in a busy period for his team.
He said: ‘This time of year always sees more people venturing to the coast and enjoying our beautiful beaches. We would encourage everyone planning a trip to the seaside to visit a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.
From Saturday the lifeguard service will be up to its full complement of eight Ceredigion beaches, with lifeguards on duty daily between 10am and 6pm until the end of the season on September 3.
The lifeguard service is provided in partnership with Ceredigion County Council. Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for tourism said: ‘If the recent fine weather continues for the rest of the summer, Ceredigion’s beaches are going to be extremely popular. I’m pleased that beach users will again this year be able to enjoy some of Ceredigion’s most popular bathing beaches in the safe hands of the RNLI lifeguard service and I urge everyone to take heed of any advice provided by the lifeguards.’
RNLI lifeguards will patrol 38 beaches across Wales in 2017. Lifeguards responded to 1,271 incidents in Wales last year and rescued or assisted 1,436 people.
The RNLI is currently running its Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign, which this year is focusing on one piece of key safety advice for anyone who finds themselves unexpectedly in cold water. Most people who die around the UK coast never expected to enter the water at all and the RNLI is urging anyone who falls into cold water to fight their instincts and remember one simple skill – floating – which could save lives from drowning.
Michael added: “We often rely on our instincts but our instinctive response to sudden immersion in cold water – gasping, thrashing and swimming hard – is potentially a killer. It increases the chances of water entering your lungs, increases the strain on your heart, cools the skin further and lets air escape from any clothing, which then reduces buoyancy.
“Although it’s counter-intuitive, the best immediate course of action in that situation is to fight your instinct and try to float or rest, just for a short time. The effects of cold water shock will pass quite quickly, within 60–90 seconds. Floating for this short time will let you regain control of your breathing and your survival chances will greatly increase.”
For more information and advice on all aspects of beach and coastal safety visit the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign website at https://rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water
New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards
NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.
Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.
A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.
Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.
“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.
“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”
Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”
Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs
LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.
The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.
Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.
“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”
New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions
The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.
The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”
The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.
The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.
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