Beach lifeguards return – with a warning about cold seas

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The cover, provided by the RNLI, will run full-time from 2 April until 18 April but will then revert to weekend-only until 1 May before the full-time service at the beach resumes.

Only the flagged area at Le Braye will be monitored.

Jake Elms, Jersey’s RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor, urged Islanders planning on getting in the sea that water temperatures remained dangerously cold at around 9°C.

‘We are extremely lucky in Jersey to have such easy access to the fresh air and open space our coastline offers.

‘We are expecting people to make the most of this during time off in the school holidays and would urge anyone hoping to go into the water to head to Le Braye, where there will be a lifeguard service operating,’ he said.

‘We would remind anyone entering the water to take extra care and avoid unnecessary risks, as early-season conditions are more challenging. We can get warmer air temperatures at this time of year but the sea remains dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold-water shock.’

Mr Elms urged kayakers and paddleboarders to ensure they had the right kit – including a lifejacket or buoyancy aid – as well as a reliable means of communication.

He also encouraged swimmers to ensure they acclimatised slowly to the cold water and to make themselves visible with a bright hat and float.

Last year, as the pandemic began, the roll-out of the service was delayed as lifeguards were retrained by the RNLI on Covid-safe treatment and rescue procedures. Patrols did not start at Le Braye until 23 May, in St Brelade’s Bay until 21 May and in the north-coast bays until 13 June.

And Mr Elms said that Covid-safe procedures would remain in force, with beachgoers asked to keep their distance from others to help keep themselves and lifeguards safe.

‘The protocols and measures introduced last year because of coronavirus will continue,’ he said.

‘We are working with the States of Jersey, who ask us to provide a lifeguard service on their beaches, to make sure the environment for lifeguards to return to is safe. We will continue to monitor the risk to our people and the public in relation to the pandemic.’

Plémont, Grève de Lecq and St Brelade’s Bay will be patrolled from 29 May.

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