Busy season for Bude’s lifeguards is not yet over

By Ella Henwood:

This season has been one of the busiest for Bude’s lifeguards with the huge influx of visitors to Bude following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

This season, Crooklets has been only a 2-guard beach but has been backed up by volunteers from Bude Surf Life Saving Club during the busy peak periods. Crooklets Senior, Richie Heard, notes how: The club has been an asset to Crooklets this season; without them, we would not have been able to keep Crooklets open due to a combination of challenging sea conditions and high visitor numbers, sowe would like to pass on our huge thanks and gratitude to all of the members who volunteered their time to help us keep Crooklets safe’. Crooklets beach ended lifeguard patrols on Sunday 27th September.

Widemouth’s lifeguards have dealt with a huge number of incidents from board rescues to heart attacks, to lost dogs and injured sea birds. This season you may have noticed that Widemouth’s lifeguards have replaced their IRB (Inshore Rescue Boat) with an RWC (Rescue Water Craft). This is due to Covid-19 regulations as it only takes one person to operate the RWC as opposed to two people to operate the IRB. The RWC has done a lot of water time this year particularly at low tide and has proved invaluable when needed at Blackrock ,where there has been no lifeguard cover this season.

As ever, Summerleaze lifeguards have been kept busy; throughout August lifeguards documented over eighty rescues. There has been no lifeguard cover at Northcott this season, meaning Summerleaze have been on call with the RWC if it is required. During August, Summerleaze Senior Mini Fry was called to Northcott to assist with two people caught in a rip current. Luckily, on arrival a surfer had been able to assist them back to the beach. Summerleaze lifeguards would like to pass on their thanks to Bude sea pool staff for their assistance this season; it has been a huge help during our busiest time.

Similar to Crooklets, Sandymouth has been lifeguarded by two guards all season stepping up to three at weekends. There have been a lot of rescues this year, Senior lifeguard Stevie Turner mentions how: It’s been a really busy but a good season for the guards. For the first time Sandymouth will remain operational into October providing a lifeguard service every weekend and for two weeks over October half term (17th October – Sunday 1st November).

From Monday 28th September Bude’s RNLI lifeguards will provide lifeguard cover full-time on Summerleaze and Widemouth beach as well as Sandymouth on weekends and throughout October half term.

Lifeguard Supervisor Ted Hambley stresses the importance of going to a lifeguarded beach: If you want to go into the water, please visit one of our three beaches with RNLI lifeguard cover. This is the safest way for you to enjoy the water this October. There has been a huge effort from the local community this season to support the lifeguards on the beaches, so many thanks to everyone who has given their time, your help is much appreciated and has not gone unnoticed.

Bude’s lifeguards would also like to pass on their Congratulations to Widemouth Senior Sam, and his partner Laura, on the birth of their daughter.

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