RNLI begins lifeguard patrols on Scottish beaches

THE RNLI made history today when, for the first time in its 189-year history, it started a lifeguard patrol on a Scottish beach,

Jamie Lindsay with RNLI crew members. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Jamie Lindsay with RNLI crew members. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Two specially-trained lifeguards will now be permanently stationed on Coldingham Sands, north of Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders.

Run on behalf of the local council, the two lifeguards, Geo Ceccarelli, 32, and Jamie Lindsay, 17, will be stationed in a hut on the beach and equipped with the latest water rescue and casualty care equipment, including spinal boards, defibrillators and rescue tubes - buoyancy devices that can sustain the weight of an individual.

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Among the requirements for the job are that they can run 200 metres in 40 seconds and swim 200 metres in open water in three-and-a-half minutes.

Giordano Ceccarelli. Picture: Ian Rutherford

For the past 12 years, the RNLI has run lifeguard patrols across England, Wales and Ireland, but is now looking to roll out their service around Scottish beaches.

In 2012, its lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents and assisted 16,414 people.

Andy Clift, RNLI Regional Operations Manager for Scotland and England North, said: “As the charity that saves lives at sea we now operates 46 lifeboat stations in Scotland and launched 1,008 times and rescued 1,055 people as a result.

“We are really pleased that we are able to extend our life-saving service and offer a lifeguard service on a Scottish beach, today is a proud day for the RNLI in Scotland.”