AS LIFEGUARDS leave our beaches, visitors to the coast are being urged to heed the RNLI’s safety advice.

RNLI lifeguards in Weymouth and West Bay have just finished their final weekend on patrol for the summer.

The summer was one of the busiest ever for RNLI lifeguards, who have been working on the beaches responding to incidents in the water, providing casualty care and helping locate lost children, as well as carrying out preventative actions stopping many more incidents occurring.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: 2021 West Dorset RNLI lifeguard team (credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams)2021 West Dorset RNLI lifeguard team (credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams)

With no lifeguard service in operation at the two popular beaches of Weymouth and West Bay, the public are being urged by the charity to take extra care when visiting the beach.

Alice Higgins, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for Weymouth said: "Those still wanting to use the beaches in Dorset can help keep themselves safe. Know your limits and don’t push beyond them, as that’s when you can get into danger. Take note of safety signage at the entrance to the beach, and understand the local hazards.

"Always check the conditions and tide times and never enter the water alone. Keep a close eye on your friends and family and if you ever see anyone in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

"If you fall into the water unexpectedly remember, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float. If you can call for help and try and get someone’s attention."

The charity has recently launched the RNLI South West Lifeguard Appeal with the aim of raising the funds needed to train the lifeguards to carry out their vital work.

Dave Nicoll, Fundraising and Partnership Lead in the south west said: "RNLI lifeguards have been working extremely hard throughout spring and summer to deliver a world-class lifeguard service. If you were helped by a RNLI lifeguard this summer, or if you simply want to make a kind donation, please visit our JustGiving page. Without the generosity of your donations, they wouldn’t be able to stand on the beach keeping people safe."

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews have been operating alongside the lifeguards throughout summer and continue to be on call 24/7 ready to respond to emergencies when their pager goes off.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s South West Lifeguard Appeal, visit: