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No Lifeguard cover on Cornwall’s beaches, due to Covid 19

Usually Lifeguard cover for many of Cornwall’s beaches begins from this Saturday onwards marking the start of the Easter Holidays.

But this year in response to the Covid 19 outbreak the RNLI is having to withdraw Lifeguard services.

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Lifeguards were due to be deployed across Cornish beaches as of this weekend 28 March, but for the time being their familiar flags marking safe bathing areas, warning flags showing unsafe conditions, and their reassuring Lifeguards in vehicles and lookouts, will be missing.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, says: “Like the advice around Covid itself, this means extra vigilance by the public in order to remain safe.”

“Our beaches are open, though you must not make unnecessary journeys to them, or congregate on them. But be aware that there will no longer be Lifeguards keeping an eagle eye out for people in danger or in need of rescue. Social distancing also means that people will be dispersed, and in general there will be fewer people around to spot anyone who needs help. Inevitably some experienced swimmers and surfers may still want to go into the sea. Leisure centres are also closed, so swimming pools will not be offering a safer alternative.”

“I urge beach users and walkers, and in particular parents, to be extra vigilant while there are no Lifeguards in place. Parents may be in charge of only one member of their household. We must follow the Government’s anti-virus guidelines, but if we choose to use the beaches for our daily exercise we all have to take responsibility for our own safety in the water. Heed warning signs advising of local hazards, check tide times to avoid being cut off, and look at weather conditions before setting out into, or onto, the sea.”

It is important to note that the RNLI's Lifeboat stations remain on service. The RNLI says it is working towards providing a peak summer season service, if the situation with Covid 19 at that time allows it.

But for now, it falls to every individual to use the beaches and the sea as safely as possible.

Cornwall Council’s Countryside Services team is in regular contact with the RNLI and will notify everyone as soon as they have a clear indication of Lifeguard services being resumed.