Starting this summer, four of Porthcawl’s beaches will be patrolled by a new seasonal lifeguard service run in partnership by Bridgend County Borough Council and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
For many years, the council has employed lifeguards at Coney Beach, Rest Bay, Trecco Bay and Pink Bay, creating a safe environment for both local residents and tourists to enjoy the beaches.
That same high standard of service is to continue through the new partnership, which has been approved by Cabinet Members from the local authority and the beach landowners.
Councillor Phil White, the council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, said: “The RNLI already patrol over 220 beaches across the UK, and we look forward to working with them. Beach lifeguards provide an invaluable service, keeping beach goers safe by spotting danger and saving lives.
“The RNLI will take on the recruitment, training and overall management of the lifeguards. Last summer, they conducted full risk assessments of the four beaches to work out what staffing will be required, so they’ll be ready to go for the season.
“I’d also like to add that we have a strong tradition of working with the community surf lifesaving clubs in Porthcawl to support beach and water safety. We are keen to maintain and develop these good relationships further.”
RNLI lifeguards will begin providing a daily safety service on Coney Beach and Trecco Bay from 30 April. At Rest Bay lifeguards will begin duty on 28 May and at Pink Bay from 2 July. Lifeguards will be on duty seven days a week between 10am and 6pm at Coney Beach, Rest Bay and Pink Bay until 4 September and and Trecco Bay until 25 September.
Stu Thompson, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘Last year our lifeguards assisted more than 900 people on 32 beaches in Wales and we are really pleased to begin working with Bridgend County Borough Council to provide a safety service on the beaches of Porthcawl this year.
‘The RNLI charity provides all of its lifeguards with first class training to equip them with all the skills and experience needed to provide safety advice and assistance to beach users. We would advise people to always swim at a lifeguarded beach within the red and yellow flagged swimming area.
‘We have met with a range of individuals and groups in the community with an interest in coastal safety and will be working with them towards reducing incidents and preventing loss of life in the Bridgend County Borough area.
“The RNLI is especially keen to enhance the close relationship with the area’s surf lifesaving clubs and our lifeguards will also be able to work closely with the charity’s volunteer crew at Porthcawl RNLI Lifeboat Station.”
Recruitment for RNLI lifeguards has already begun and the charity would be keen to hear from anyone interested in applying for Bridgend’s ‘Best Summer Job’.
RNLI Senior Lifeguard Manager Matt Horton said: “The RNLI will be looking to recruit and enthusiastic and professional team of lifeguards who will get paid and equipped to save lives this summer.
“We’re looking for strong swimmers who can swim 400m with a good level of fitness aged over 16 years old. If you have the raw ability and the will to learn we can help get you fit and qualified.”
RNLI beach lifeguard recruitment is now open at jobs.rnli.org/lifeguards.html