RNLI lifeguards gearing up to return to Exmouth beach in time for the Easter holidays have announced extra summer patrols.
The RNLI said it has made ‘significant’ changes to improve lifeguard cover at Exmouth this year.
Exmouth beach will have lifeguard cover during the two-week Easter holidays, from Saturday, April 9 until Sunday, April 24 – then it will be patrolled daily from Saturday, April 30 until Sunday, September 25.
The RNLI said there will be four lifeguards on duty, rising to six during the peak months of July and August.
The main lifeguard patrolled area will be unchanged, but during the peak season in July and August there will be a second beach unit, 250m to the east of the lifeboat station, and a second flagged area at the discretion of the RNLI.
And new for 2022, the lifeguards will put up windbreaks along the estuary section of the beach instead of red flags, which the RNLI said will offer better safety information.
The sea safety charity said it had worked closely with East Devon District Council (EDDC) when planning the extra cover and changes.
Henry Irvine, regional lifeguard lead for Devon, said: ‘In recent years Exmouth has benefitted from significant seafront development, greater recognition as a beach destination and wider trends, such as open water swimming.
“We continually monitor the services we provide, in conjunction with local authority partners, to ensure our lifeguard operations are effective in managing the safety of beach users.
“These improvements in the service we provide at Exmouth are the result of thorough and ongoing assessment of risk, as well as close collaboration with East Devon District Council, to devise practical evidence-based improvements.”
Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: “We had a record number of visitors enjoying our Blue Flag beach at Exmouth and participating in our numerous watercraft activities and swimming.
“Safety is paramount therefore we have worked with the RNLI to improve and enhance safety on Exmouth beach.”
In preparation to return to Exmouth, and other beaches around the county, the RNLI lifeguards have been busy with pre-season inductions to refresh and update their skills in casualty care, lifesaving skills in and out of the water, craft operations and fitness testing.
For more information on the region’s lifeguarded beaches, see here.