South West Wales

Lifeguards for Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, after drownings

Three Cliffs Bay Image copyright Geograph/Graham Taylor

Lifeguards are to patrol one of south Wales' most popular beaches after two people drowned there last year.

The RNLI will provide the service at Three Cliffs Bay on Gower after a campaign for improved safety was carried out by the community.

They will be on the beach during school holidays and in the peak summer months.

The family of Benny Collins, who drowned at the beach last July aged 40, have supported the patrols, along with plans to improve safety signs.

Another man - Jason North, 42, of Macclesfield, Cheshire - also died last June while trying to get his children out of the water.

The picturesque beach has become more and more popular and now attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year.

Image copyright Mel Collins
Image caption Benny Collins, pictured with his wife Mel, was a a physiotherapist at Morriston Hospital's A&E department in Swansea

Stuart Thompson, RNLI lifeguard manager, said the sea conditions could be "dangerously unpredictable" and at certain times there could be rip currents.

"A designated swimming area will be set up with red and yellow flags where people can enter the water under the supervision of fully-trained lifeguards," he added.

The Collins family said in a statement: "Benny was a strong rugby player, physically very fit and an able swimmer and yet did not escape tragedy in the Three Cliffs' waters.

"While we would not encourage people to swim at Three Cliffs Bay, we encourage people to only ever consider going into the water if lifeguards are present and only in designated areas."

Across Wales, RNLI lifeguards helped more than 900 people on 32 beaches last year.

This year, seven more beaches will have lifeguards provided by the charity - including Three Cliffs Bay as well as beaches in Porthcawl and Denbighshire.

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