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Lifeguards ready for summer

PUBLISHED: 10:06 18 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:48 30 June 2010

Beaches around Norfolk now have their RNLI lifeguards on duty for the summer season.

And an extra beach, at East Runton, has been added to the shorelines covered by a 50-strong squad who last year dealt with more than 600 incidents and saved four lives.

Beaches around Norfolk now have their RNLI lifeguards on duty for the summer season.

And an extra beach, at East Runton, has been added to the shorelines covered by a 50-strong squad who last year dealt with more than 600 incidents and saved four lives.

Seven-day-a-week cover from 10am to 6pm is now in place at Sheringham, Cromer East, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston until September 19.

High summer cover starts from July 10 to September 5 at Cromer West and Hemsby and, for the first time at East Runton.

RNLI deputy divisional lifeguard manager Stuart Thompson said a need had been indentified for lifeguards at the increasingly busy beach near Cromer and the parish council was keen to see cover.

In 2009 Norfolk lifeguards attended 669 incidents, helped 679 people and saved four lives, a rise on 2008 when they attended 603 incidents, assisted 664 people and saved six lives.

Incidents ranged from dealing with insect stings, cut feet and giving advice to rescues involving accidents and medical emergencies, including heart attacks and broken bones.

Last summer the lives saved involved a jet-ski accident at Sea Palling and people getting into difficulties in currents.

Most of the education involved not using inflatables on the sea during offshore winds, and only swimming between the yellow and red lifeguard beach flags.

Mundesley, with 144 incidents, was the busiest beach for RNLI lifeguards in 2009 and the number of lifeguards on duty on a Norfolk beach will range from two to four.

The RNLI lifeguards, who took over the duties from local councils four years ago, expected to be busy again this year as more people holiday in Britain because of the economic recession and recent difficulties with aircraft travel.


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