RNLI to operate beach lifeguard service for the next three years

RNLI lifeguards with Councillor Kim Forward SUS-180506-103549001
RNLI lifeguards with Councillor Kim Forward SUS-180506-103549001

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which provide the ‘gold standard’ of lifesaving at sea, has been appointed by Hastings Borough Council to operate the Hastings beach lifeguard service for three years to 2020, after a successful pilot last year.

Lead councillor for tourism, Councillor Kim Forward, said: “We have had all three lifeguard stations (Pelham, pier, St Leonards) operational since May 26, an improvement on last year when only Pelham started at the end of May. Not only are we are delighted to be working in partnership with the RNLI, but we are particularly pleased to be able to offer an enhanced service to our community and our visitors, who can use our beautiful beaches safely.

“We have already had a lot of positive feedback.”

During 2017, RNLI lifeguards attended to 88 incidents in Hastings, of these seven required serious medical interventions.

The ‘gold standard’ of lifeguarding provided by the RNLI includes management, training, equipment and accommodation. The operation has been extended across St Leonards and, in a separate contract with Rother District Council, includes Bexhill and Camber beaches. The agreement includes increased lifeguard provision, longer hours and higher pay for the lifeguards.