Summer lifeguard beach cover begins

RNLI lifeguard
Image caption More than 20 beaches in Devon and Cornwall will have lifeguard cover over the Bank Holiday

RNLI lifeguards have started their summer patrolling of the south west's busiest beaches.

More than 20 beaches in Devon and Cornwall will have lifeguard cover, which will continue until November.

Between May and November last year, the charity's lifeguards dealt with 6,137 incidents in Cornwall and 1,714 incidents in Devon.

Lifeguard cover in the two counties will increase again during the peak summer season.

In North Devon, RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling Croyde and Woolacombe beaches while on the county's south coast, Bantham and Sedgewell Cove will have full time lifeguard cover from this weekend.

In Cornwall RNLI lifeguards will begin their full time summer season safety patrols on the following beaches; Sharrow, Praa Sands, Gwithian, Hayle Towans, Porthmeor, Sennen, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Fistral, Towan, Watergate Bay, Treyarnon, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze.

Steve Instance, the RNLI's Senior Lifeguard Manager said: "The summer season is now upon us, although we are yet to be graced with the weather befitting such an occasion, beachgoers are expected to make the most of the bank holiday weekend and for the lifeguards to be busy."

During the peak season the RNLI protects 92 beaches in the south west.

Last year the RNLI announced it was extending its lifeguard cover until the beginning of November.

It followed a woman drowning at Northcott Mouth beach in Bude one day after the RNLI stopped its summer lifeguard cover.

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