The Swanage RNLI Lifeguard tower is due to be craned into its summer seafront position in time for the holiday season.
The temporary hut, which is expected to arrive early in the morning on Monday 26th April 2021, is located in front of the safe swimming area of the sea. From here, the lifeguards can get a good view of the beach and keep an eye on all the swimmers.
The Swanage RNLI Lifeguard tower in summer 2020
Setting up the service for the summer
During the winter, the tower is removed to avoid the worst of the weather. Its reinstallation is the next step in setting up the service for the summer.
The Swanage lifeguards have all been recruited and will undergo two weeks of intensive training before the service starts on Saturday 29th May 2021, at the start of the school holiday summer half term.
The team will patrol the beach and sea from 10 am to 6 pm until Sunday 12th September 2021.
“Up to four lifeguards on duty at peak times”
RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for East Dorset, Kester Sheppard said:
“Swanage saw a huge increase in the number of visitors last year and we’re expecting much the same this year after the easing of lockdown. In response we’ve put in measures to help us cope, including taking on extra recruits.
“The plan is to be flexible and if we need more lifeguards we’ll be able to have up to four lifeguards on duty at peak times. As part of the RNLI, we’ve put systems in place to make sure we look after people properly – we do our best!”
“It really is the best job in the world – working with amazing people. Looking after and helping so many people is really rewarding, from reuniting a lost child on the beach with its parents to dealing with major incidents.
“It’s a job that keeps you fit, so it’s good for your health and also the training gives for skills for life that are transferable for lots of other jobs. Although we’ve recruited for this year there are opportunities for volunteer lifeguards, which is more flexible but gives you the chance to get an insight into what we do. The RNLI really is a great family to belong to!”
“Blow an inflatable straight out to sea”
With restrictions continuing on foreign travel, Dorset is expecting visitors that may not have thought of spending a holiday in Swanage before. Kester Sheppard added:
“If there was one thing that I could say to anyone thinking of visiting Swanage Beach, is not to bring an inflatable! It’s a relatively sheltered bay, so one of the safest beaches for swimming but an offshore wind will quickly blow you and an inflatable straight out to sea, so don’t take the risk, especially with children.
“If anyone does get into trouble and ends up in the sea, then the best thing is to remember to ‘Float to Live’. This is when we say to float on your back while you catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float. Keep calm and then once you’re calm, call for help and swim for safety if you are able.
“When the RNLI first brought in the campaign, many thought, isn’t it too obvious? But actually it worked and we’ve had plenty of people say that it has saved their life. That’s why we do our job – to ensure we all have a safe summer, whatever the challenges this year will bring.