RNLI lifeguards talk to Berrow schoolchildren about beach safety

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Lifeguards talk to children from Berrow Church of England Primary School. Photo: RNLI. Lifeguards talk to children from Berrow Church of England Primary School. Photo: RNLI.

RNLI lifeguards are returning to Burnham and Berrow beaches from this Saturday (July 5) for the peak summer season.

In the run-up to the start of patrols, the lifeguard teams have been going into local schools to teach children how best to stay safe this summer.

One of the schools visited was Berrow Primary School. The school’s Heather Hector said it was a great opportunity for the children to learn about their local beach.

She added: “We believe it is very important that our children keep being reminded about being safe at the beach. “As we all live so close to the beach, for many of our children it is their local playground so knowing how to stay safe is really important.

“The children liked dressing up in the props that the team brought as it helps to make it come alive when they are actively involved.”

During their school visits, the lifeguards talk to the children about the different flags, lifeguard equipment, possible hazards on the beach and how the children can stay safe if they get into trouble.

Last month RNLI lifeguards worked with their colleagues at Burnham lifeboat station and BARB hovercraft to teach 120 children from the Birmingham area about beach and sea safety when they visited the area.

Ross Leighton, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for Berrow, said: “Our lifeguard team is very much looking forward to returning to the beaches for the summer season.

“At the moment they’re busy undertaking a two-week intensive induction process, which is vital for ensuring all the lifeguards receive the same high quality training before going back on the beaches. Topics include rescue theory and practice, as well as communication skills, first aid and beach familiarisation.

“We encourage people heading to the coast to visit an RNLI lifeguarded beach where our team of highly professional lifeguards will be on hand to assist people; and swim between the red and yellow flags which marks out the safest swim zone on the beach. Our lifeguards are also there to offer advice, so please speak with them to find out the local dangers, tide times and conditions.”

RNLI lifeguard patrols begin on Saturday and will run daily between 10am and 6pm until Sunday, September 7.

The lifeguards will be positioned in temporary units at Burnham and Berrow beaches, which will be removed after the season.

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