Lifeguards will make a welcome return to Westcountry beaches this weekend in time for the Easter school holidays.
A number of beaches in Devon and Cornwall will be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards over the Easter weekend, with some offering an extended service throughout the school holiday fortnight and then weekends in April.
It is estimated that last year more than 93,000 people visited lifeguarded beaches in Cornwall during the Easter period, with another 50,000 descending on patrolled beaches in Devon. In total, the lifeguards attended 74 incidents, assisting more than 100 people across both counties.
South West lifeguard manager Steve Instance said: “Working alongside Cornwall Council and various private beach owners in both counties the RNLI is delighted to be able to again offer an enhanced lifeguard service on beaches on both the north and south coast for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.”
Incidents involving lifeguards last Easter included the rescue of two tourists who were cut off by the tide between Whipsiderry beach and Watergate Bay near Newquay.
Mr Instance added: “We encourage people heading to the coast over the Easter break to choose to visit beaches with RNLI lifeguard patrols, as the lifeguard team will be on hand to offer safety advice and help people should they get into difficulty.”
In Cornwall, lifeguards will be present at Hayle Towans, Sennen, Towan, Watergate, Constantine and Summerleaze beaches from today until Monday.
Praa Sands, Gwithian, Porthmeor, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Harlyn, Polzeath and Widemouth will be patrolled from today until April 14 and then every weekend until May 4.
Fistral beach in Newquay will have full-time lifeguard cover from today through to the end of October.
On the North Devon coast, Croyde and Woolacombe will be patrolled by lifeguards each day of the school holiday fortnight and over weekends throughout April. On the south coast, Bantham will be patrolled by lifeguards for the four-day Easter weekend.