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RNLI to patrol Porthcawl beaches until at least 2021

A deal has been agreed for RNLI lifeguards to continue patrolling four Porthcawl beaches until the summer of 2021.

Coney Beach, Rest Bay, Trecco Bay and Pink Bay will all be covered by the RNLI’s seasonal beach lifeguarding service.

The patrols will be jointly funded by Bridgend County Borough Council, Porthcawl Town Council and Parkdean Resorts, with the RNLI covering additional costs through their national and local fund raising activity.

The sight of RNLI beach lifeguards on duty is always reassuring for visitors. We’ve been teaming up with the RNLI since the summer of 2016 and are pleased for the arrangement to continue. We feel that the presence of professional lifeguards is essential for Porthcawl to remain a top tourist destination.

Councillor Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities

Rest Bay, Coney Beach and Trecco Bay are being patrolled daily between 10am and 6pm until the end of the season on 2 September, while lifeguards will patrol Pink Bay from Rest Bay when the tide allows. Once the tide prevents access to Pink Bay, the lifeguards will then undertake regular patrols from land.

Sun and fun lovers heading to Porthcawl’s beaches during the school holidays are being reminded to take heed of any safety warnings issued by lifeguards.

Matt Childs, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, is expecting another busy season for the Porthcawl team. He said: “Our region boasts some beautiful beaches, but we would always encourage anyone planning a trip to the seaside to visit a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.”

The RNLI recently launched its Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign, with 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.

Matt said: “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.

“It’s our goal to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.”

For more information and advice on all aspects of beach and coastal safety visit the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign website (External link – Opens in a new tab or window).

RNLI lifeguards are patrolling 38 beaches across Wales this summer. Lifeguards responded to 1,075 incidents in Wales last year and rescued or assisted 1,219 people.