Summer lifeguard patrols to resume at St Ouen’s Bay

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LIFEGUARD patrols are to start at St Ouen’s Bay tomorrow (Saturday) after the introduction of the service for summer 2020 was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (28428690)

The RNLI suspended preparations for the season in March as the crisis took hold, causing a change to the original schedule which would have seen an Easter holiday service at Le Braye, with beaches such as St Brelade’s Bay, Plémont and Grève de Lecq patrolled by late May.

As lockdown restrictions have eased and large numbers of Islanders have flocked to the coast during a spell of warm weather, the RNLI has accelerated preparations to ensure training requirements have been covered and some cover was in place at St Ouen’s Bay. Other beaches will not be patrolled for the time being.

Jake Elms, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor, said: ‘Despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved we have succeeded in re-establishing the lifeguard service in time for the bank holiday weekend.

‘Our lifeguards have a vital role in making sure visitors to the beach are aware of their surroundings, the potential dangers at the beach and providing a lifesaving rescue service should anyone get into trouble. We would encourage the public to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and take care to understand the risks at the coast and the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.’

The RNLI lifeguard service will continue to be supported by the charity’s lifeboat stations at St Helier and St Catherine. Both stations’ volunteer crews have been on call 24/7 to help those in trouble at sea throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

Those visiting the coast have been urged to follow safety advice, including checking the weather forecast and tide times, keeping a close eye on younger family members, not swimming alone and not using inflatables.

Assistant Economic Development Minister Steve Pallett welcomed the announcement and paid tribute to the strong working relationship between the RNLI, Coastguard and government.

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