Mirren McTavish

In pictures: The RNLI lifeguards keeping Scottish beaches safe

The drowning tragedies across Scotland last month have placed safety on the water into sharp focus.

On Scotland’s beaches, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards regularly patrol popular spots, and this year have lifeguards posted in seven locations.

RNLI lifeguards not only monitor the coast but are also on hand to offer safety advice and administer minor first aid to beach goers. They are also there to help when things do go wrong such as at Silversands Beach on the first lifeguarded weekend of the year. In one incident, lifeguards stepped in when they spotted a paddleboarder in difficulty.

“The paddleboarder had drifted too far out from the shore to make their own way back,” said RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor Gio Ceccarelli. “The lifeguards used their knowledge of the beach, tides and coastline to assist the paddleboarder back to safety further along the coast. In this case we were able to spot the incident unfolding and were able to react very quickly. The person involved had made the right decision to visit a lifeguarded beach that day as otherwise they might not have been spotted so quickly. You should always carry a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch when out on the water so that you can call for help if you do need it. If you spot someone in difficulty on the coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard"

RNLI’s Regional Water Safety Lead, Michael Avril added: “We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.

“By choosing to visit a lifeguarded beach you will find yourself in an environment where lifeguards are monitoring the water, ready to respond in an instant. Our lifeguards are not only trained to operate their lifesaving equipment, defibrillators and first aid, but are also armed with a multitude of safety advice aimed at preventing incidents before they occur.”

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

Aberdour, Silver Sands Daily 29 May - 29 August / Weekend Only 4 - 26 September / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm
Burntisland Beach Daily 19 June - 22 August / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm
Coldingham Bay Beach Daily 29 May - 5 September / Weekends Only 11 - 26 September / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm
Elie Harbour Beach Daily 19 June - 22 August / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm
Leven Beach

Daily 19 June - 22 August / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm

St Andrews East Sands Beach

St Andrews West Sands Beach

Daily 19 June - 22 August / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm

Broughty Ferry Beach Daily 21 June - 22 August / Patrol times: 10am - 6pm
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