RNLI calls for beaches without lifeguards to be closed over safety fears

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is calling on the Government to restrict the public’s access to the coast until lifeguard patrols are back on beaches.

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 6:22 pm

The warm weather attracted large crowds to beaches across the UK as lockdown measures were eased – sparking fears of further incidents and tragedies during this unprecedented time which has meant coastlines are unmanned by lifeguards.

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Crowds enjoying the weather on Bank Holiday Monday at Seaburn beach.

Now the RNLI – a charity which saves lives at sea and has lifeguards across the UK and North East – is urging the Government to take measures to curb people visiting beaches during lockdown to protect both the public and lifeguards.

The call comes from the RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie, who said in an open letter: “With thousands flocking to English beaches now lockdown restrictions have been eased, we must choose between keeping the public or our lifeguards safe.

"Safety advice and warnings will only go so far when people are desperate to enjoy some freedom after weeks of lockdown.

"As a lifesaving charity, the RNLI cannot stop people going to beaches - but the Government can - before more lives are lost around our coast this summer."

Residents head outdoors in South Tyneside as the weather hots up.

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