By Ella Henwood:
Bude Lifeguards back on the beaches and gearing up for what could be one of their busiest seasons to date.
From Saturday 11th July, five of Bude’s Beaches will be Lifeguarded: Sandymouth, Crooklets, Summerleaze, Widemouth and Crackington.
As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have seen more and more visitors to the beach. Last week, Crooklets Lifeguard Ella Henwood and off duty Lifeguard Tremaine Fry rescued two swimmers who became caught in a rip current at low tide. They had gone for a swim but quickly realised they were in trouble when they became out of their depth and unable to return to shore. Ella and Tremaine used rescues boards to safely bring them back to the beach.
Summerleaze beach has seen a big increase in visitors, particularly learner surfers. Lifeguard Rhys Burton assisted a surfer stuck in a rip current on middle beach,; he spotted that the surfer was struggling to return to shore and was paddling against the rip. Rhys paddled out a rescue board and advised the surfer of the best way to return to shore through paddling at a 90-degree angle to the beach to escape the rip current and return to the breaking waves.
This year, Blackrock will not have their own set of Lifeguards and will instead be watched over by a bigger team of Widemouth Lifeguards. Last week, Lifeguard Ben Wilson was on duty at Widemouth when he noticed a body boarder in difficulty over at Blackrock. Ben drove the lifeguard truck over and managed to successfully recuse the bodyboarder using a rescue board. At the same time, Lifeguard Alfie Bolitho rescued a body boarder at Widemouth who had paddled out of their depth and was struggling to get back to the beach. Alfie used a rescue board to bring the bodyboarder safely back to the beach.
This season due to the pandemic situation we have a reduced number of lifeguards on the beaches but remain to be on duty 7 days a week 10am-6pm. If you go to the beach, make sure it is a lifeguarded one.
The Red and Yellow Flags mark the safest area for Swimmers and Bodyboards, and if you are surfing please speak to the Lifeguards before entering the water. They will advise you of the safest place to go.
If you do see someone in trouble in the water and there are no Lifeguards on duty, please do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
Mini Fry, Summerleaze Senior Lifeguard added:
‘We would like to take this time to say a ‘huge thank you to Bude Surf Life Saving Club, Bude Lifeboat Crew, Bude Coastguard and all the other volunteers, within the various groups and wider community that have assisted in keeping our beaches safe over the past couple of weeks. Your help and the sense of community around Bude really has not gone unnoticed’.