WITH the end of the summer season, the RNLI have confirmed that lifeguard patrols will end at Welsh beaches.

The RNLI has urged people visiting the seaside to be cautious following the winding down of its beach lifeguard service.

As of Sunday, September 24, all beaches in Wales will no longer be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards, except for Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire – which will be patrolled on weekends up until November 5.

Chris Cousens, regional water safety lead for the RNLI, said: “As the peak season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and with a reduction of lifeguarded beaches, we’re asking people to continue to take care and be aware of the dangers.

“If you visit a beach outside of the lifeguard season, never go alone. It’s vital that you have company who could get help, in the event of an emergency.

“You should always carry a means of contact such as a mobile phone, if you get into trouble or see anyone else in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can.

“When using paddleboards, please remember to avoid offshore winds, wear a buoyancy aid, carry a phone in a waterproof pouch and to wear an appropriate leash to reduce the chance of separation from your board.

“If you find yourself in a rip current the RNLI advice is not to swim against it or you will get exhausted. If you can, stand up and wade, or swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the rip then head to shore.

“If you can, raise your hand and call for help – and remember, Float to Live if you can’t make it back or become too tired.”

The RNLI’s Float to Live advice is:

Tilt your head back with ears submerged

  • Relax and try to control your breathing;
  • Move your hands to help you stay afloat;
  • Once you are over the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety;
  • In an emergency call 999 or 112– if you are at sea or on the beach ask for the coastguard.

To find your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and check its season dates, visit: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

The lifesaving charity’s lifeboats based across the UK and Ireland remain on service 24/7, 365 days a year.