Lifeguard patrols to be reduced

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Patrols of St Brelade’s Bay will cease until next season, while St Ouen’s Bay will be patrolled at weekends only – with the exception of the October half-term, during which there will be daily cover.

The service has been kept busy this year as many Islanders opted to stay in Jersey and head to the beaches, instead of going abroad.

Earlier this month, lifeguards rescued 35 people in two days in St Ouen’s Bay after they became caught in rip currents.

By comparison, up until August, lifeguards rescued a total of 31 people across all of their patrolled beaches.

However, for the first time, the service experienced a delayed start as staff had to be rapidly retrained in safe rescue and patient-treatment procedures amid the outbreak of Covid-19.

As a result, patrols did not officially start in St Ouen’s Bay until 23 May when they should have begun at the start of the Easter school holidays in March.

Patrols of St Brelade’s Bay did not begin until 30 May with lifeguards not taking up their posts at Grève de Lecq and Plémont until 13 June. However, it later emerged that they had been running a voluntary, unofficial service.

Jake Elms, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor for Jersey, said that lifeguards would also be providing cover at Le Braye for the school half-term break from 26 to 30 October, alongside their weekend patrols.

‘It has been an unusual summer for everyone, and a really busy one on the beaches in Jersey. With travel plans disrupted for many, people have chosen to holiday at home and make the most of our stunning beaches.

‘October typically sees bigger surf
conditions and stronger winds and although the air temperature has dropped, the water temperature is still very warm, as it has been heated throughout the summer.’

He added: ‘Those wanting to make the most of the milder conditions before the short winter days approach should head to Le Braye at St Ouen’s Bay where a lifeguard service is still operating.’

Patrols – which end on 1 November – begin at 10am and finish at 6pm.

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