By Ella Henwood:
The Lifeguard season is coming to an end with Bude Lifeguards dealing with over 400 incidents in the water this year.
From September 29th all our 7 beaches will end their full-time Lifeguard service. Widemouth and Summerleaze will be open every weekend throughout October and for the half term week commencing Monday 21st October with our final day on the beaches for 2019 being Sunday 27th October.
Sandymouth Lifeguards have had their work cut out this season, with the beach’s popularity apparent with a big increase on last year’s visitor numbers. Sandymouth Lifeguards Stevie, Stell, Rory, Alfie and Jacob have responded to 66 incidents throughout the season in the water. They have also dealt with a number of major first aid incidents and would like to extend their thanks to the other emergency services involved in these.
As ever, Summerleaze and Crooklets have worked closely together managing a higher than usual influx of visitors alongside dangerous low tide conditions on both beaches. Early September, Crooklets Lifeguard, Tremaine Fry and Summerleaze Lifeguard, Mini Fry, went to the aid of a parent and child in difficulty at low tide Summerleaze. Mini was able to bring the parent safely back to the beach on a rescue board but due to the child’s position in the water and 2ft dumping waves, Tremaine was unable to get the panicked child on the rescue board. Tremaine kept hold of the child keeping their head above the water whilst Lifeguard Jack Davies paddled in to provide further assistance and together, they were able to safely bring the child safely back to the beach. This incident was classed as a Life saved as if Lifeguards Mini, Tremaine and Jack weren’t there when they were the outcome could have been tragic. Throughout the whole season, Crooklets and Summerleaze Lifeguards have aided 139 people in difficulty in the water with 4 of those incidents classed as a Life Saved.
Widemouth and Blackrock Lifeguards, too, have been faced with tricky low tide conditions. Widemouth Lifeguards have dealt with 117 incidents and Blackrock with 53 incidents in the water. Senior Lifeguard, Ian Burges. has spoken of how well his team has worked this year: ‘In my 16 years of Lifeguarding at Widemouth, this year we have been faced with some of the worst water conditions I can remember. Strong Rip currents at low tide has made for some testing conditions; the team have worked really well together working tirelessly to keep all water and beachgoers safe’.
Crackington Lifeguards and Northcott Lifeguards finished their season early September. These two beaches are only 2 guard beaches meaning Lifeguards had to be extra vigilant especially on the busy days. Crackington Lifeguards dealt with 20 incidents in the water and Northcott Lifeguards dealt with 22 Incidents in the water.
We would like to take the time to Thank Bude Surf Life Saving Club for their support on Crooklets and Summerleaze beach throughout August. Club members participate in voluntary beach patrols and have been a huge help to lifeguards both in the water and on the beach; Bude Coastguard Rescue Team for the backup and support during some difficult incidents this season, as well as Bude Fire Service. And finally, Bude Lifeboat crew for being on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
If you do see someone in difficulty in the water and there are no Lifeguards on Duty then please call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Please do not attempt to rescue them yourself.