LIFEGUARDS will keep a watchful eye on west Dorset's beaches this summer, keeping swimmers safe.

RNLI lifeguards have returned to West Bay and Lyme Regis in time for peak season, where they will carry out daily patrols.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on the area during the summer holidays and warm weather will draw many to the beaches.

To keep beachgoers safe along the Jurassic coast, lifeguards will patrol from 10am to 6pm every day until the peak season ends on September 1.

The RNLI lifeguards patrol the beaches to offer advice, supervise those in the sea and rescue people who find themselves in difficulty.

To keep yourself safe and informed, it is recommended that you speak to a lifeguard on arrival at the beach to find out about the conditions and hazards on that particular day.

Alice Higgins, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor for the area, said: "It is great to see people outside and enjoying the Dorset coastline in the summer months but it is also important that people stay safe while doing so.

"Whether you are local or visiting on holiday, we always urge beachgoers to visit an RNLI lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags so that they are supervised while in the water. RNLI lifeguards also keep people safe on the shore by responding to first aid incidents and helping lost children.

"One particular danger to be aware of is using inflatables at the beach. These become very popular in the summer months but they are normally designed for pools rather than sea conditions. If you do use them at the beach, make sure that you remain close to the shore and that children are closely supervised. Never use inflatables when the orange windsock is flying or when the wind is blowing offshore as these conditions could drag them out to sea."

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