Thursday, 26 August 2021

Supporting the RNLI

A considerable impact of the Pandemic has been the restrictions on people’s ability to go away on holiday this summer. This had led to a dramatic rise in those seeking to holidays in the UK with Cornwall being one of the number one destinations. We have seen perhaps one of the busiest summers on record with thousands of people coming down.  

It has been a demanding time for those working in hotels, pubs and restaurants as a shortage of labour combined with record demand create pressures.  Many restaurants and hotels find themselves fully booked and staff have worked incredibly hard, but it is also an important opportunity to help that sector get back on its feet after the lockdown. 
There have also been added pressures on our roads.  Heavy traffic on the main roads is normal but we have also seen an increase in the number of drivers who are unfamiliar with our narrow country roads and how to navigate them!  The increase in visitor numbers also means pressures on the police and the NHS.  Some major events like Boardmasters have contributed to localised increases in covid infection among the young.
Our beaches have also been extremely busy and very crowded. This has put considerable pressure on those helping ensure holidaymakers and locals alike stay safe and aware of the dangers that the sea can pose. The RNLI has gone above and beyond to protect those who enjoy the Cornish Beaches this summer.
Figures released this week show that RNLI lifeguards in the southwest responded to 163 incidents and aided 208 people over last year’s August Bank Holiday weekend.  While the region’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched 27 times, aiding 40 people and of those saved two lives. As we approach the August bank holiday weekend, this year, the RNLI expect it to be one of their busiest on record.
While the weather is forecast to be pleasant and the surf conditions settled across the coming weekend, it’s important to remember the beach and especially the sea, can be an unpredictable environment. That’s why when you are planning your trip to the coast, the RNLI recommend you should visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.  RNLI lifeguards are operating on over 90 beaches across the south. Locally, these include Godrevy Beach, Gwithian Beach, Porthtowan Beach among others. Locally, Cornish lifeguards will also be following the progress of former Cornish Lifeguard, Melissa Reid, who is competing at the Paralympics this year in the Paratriathlon.  We all wish her the very best of luck!
Despite the pressures that increased visitor numbers have created, it is, of course, also a good problem to have in one sense.  The success of the vaccination programme has meant people can get out again, meet friends and family and get back to life as normal and that is good to see.
If you would like to support the RNLI in their work, The South West Lifeguard Appeal has now been launched and is aimed at raising money to support the training of SW Lifeguards. You may donate by visiting: or scanning a QR code from the lifeguards at the beaches. 

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