RNLI charity trustees approve measures to double lifeguard units on UK beaches

RNLI charity trustees have approved measures that will double the number of lifeguard units on UK beaches over the next five years.

The decision comes as an Ipsos MORI poll of over 2,000 UK adults indicated that 25 million of them visited beaches in 2005, a 30% increase on last year.

The RNLI is trying to spread its coverage to another 60 UK beaches, the reasons for which RNLI National Lifeguard Manager Peter Dawes explains: “The RNLI is a charity that exists for one purpose – to save lives at sea. Ultimately, the aim of our lifeguard expansion is to save even more lives by providing a co-ordinated rescue service from the beach to the open sea by using RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crews in the most effective manner.”

The RNLI hopes to emulate the impact it had in the south-west of England, where it started operating in 2001 and has since helped over 47,500 people.

“As a sea rescue charity with a national presence, we are well placed to extend this to the other areas of the UK and save more lives, particularly on beaches where there is a clear need and no co-ordinated safety measures in place.”