A LIFEGUARD service launches on Saturday at West Bay, Lyme Regis and Charmouth.

Under a pilot scheme, RNLI lifeguards will provide safety patrols on beaches in Lyme, Charmouth and West Bay, seven days a week between July and September.

Led by supervisor Anna Cooper, a team of 12 lifeguards are now in the final stages of their training, ahead of their 10am start on Saturday.

Lifeguard manager Matt Horton said: "We have recruited our full-time lifeguards now and they are currently undergoing their two weeks of training before going on the beach.

"They are doing beach familiarisation training on the beaches and getting au fait with local names and local hazards.

"We have got a team of about 12 and they will be rotating around, although there will be a core of three people local to Lyme.

"There will be two of them on duty every day, seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm each day.

"Charmouth will be exactly the same as Lyme with two lifeguards, seven days a week.

"There will also be three core staff although there will only be two of them on duty at one time."

The lifeguards will be based in the new California-style observation huts on their respective beaches, but Lyme lifeguards will also be using the lifeboat station at the Cobb.

The kiosks were put in place in Lyme Regis last week and at Charmouth this week.

Lyme's hut has been placed on Front Beach, where the sand meets the shingle, while Charmouth's hut has been put in front of the visitor's centre, just below the chalets.

The colourful huts are intended for use as a shelter, storage space, first aid facilities, communications equipment, and a focal point for the lifeguards, but also as a central base so beach users can always find a lifeguard.

Mr Horton said: "There will generally be one person in the unit and one person on the shoreline.

"There will be red and yellow flags up and in between these in the safest area to bathe. These are the areas they will be primarily monitoring.

"We urge people to pick a lifeguarded beach and bathe between the red and yellow flags.

"We are encouraging anyone who has any queries about beach safety and lifeguards to approach one of the team when on duty.

"They are primarily a pro-active service, there to give advice on beach safety matters, so do approach them."

Mr Horton added: "During Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week we are doing a 'meet the lifeguards day', when we will also be doing a demo as part of the week's events.