Skegness lifeguards keeping our beaches safe

Skegness Lifeguards keeping our beaches safe. ANL-160306-123327001
Skegness Lifeguards keeping our beaches safe. ANL-160306-123327001

Waves lashed against an almost deserted Skegness beach as lifeguards watched over a scattering of holidaymakers from the shelter of their lookout tower.

The cold half-term had meant a quiet week for the team keeping our beaches safe along the coast from Mablethorpe.

But on Thursday, with northerly winds gusting up to 33mph, it may have looked far from Baywatch in Skegness but the conditions provided the perfect opportunity for some team training.

The Skegness Standard joined senior lifeguard Richard Gott, Courtney Fear, and supervisor Arun Gray on the beach ahead of a training session with supervisor Daniel Cooper.

Richard, 25, from Burgh-le-Marsh, has been a lifeguard for two years and said: “When conditions are like this it’s the best time for training.

“Going out in rough conditions is perfect for building confidence to prepare us for a rescue incident.”

However Daniel, who started as a seasonal lifeguard in 2010 and this year became full-time, stressed: “Ninety-five per cent of our work is preventing any incidents happening.

“We are there to advise people only to swim between the yellow and red flags and be aware of the dangers of inflatables.

“We are there so families can relax on the beach in the knowledge that if something does happen we can be there in a minute to help.

“For me seeing a lifeguard do a rescue or find a missing child gives that feel good factor.

“Being able to help people is the reward we get for what we do.”

Becoming a lifeguard is one of the most sought-after jobs for students in East Lindsey. Currently there are eight lifeguards covering Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, Ingoldmells and Skegness which will rise to 20 for the summer holidays.

So far it has been a quiet start to the season, with just one rescue of an elderly man was knocked over by a wave whilst paddling on the water’s edge.

Arun said: “Were waiting for staff training with the lifeboat. We spotted an elderly gentleman paddling but the sea was rough and he got knocked over and couldn’t get back up. He was struggling. Two lifeguards ran down and helped him out.”

With warmer weather set to return this week, the lifeguards are expecting to do what they love the most – get outside on the beach.

Courtney, 23, said: “It’s the best job, especially on a nice day.”