A team of lifeguards have undergone a two-week induction course to prepare them for the many different scenarios they may encounter this summer on the beaches of Camber, Hastings and Bexhill.
The training course includes all aspects of safety, health and environment. They study core lifeguard skills including rescue techniques and casualty care.
As lifeguards use a variety of vehicles to aid rescues, they also undergo craft and vehicle training, including how to operate the Rescue Water Craft and driving a four-wheel drive on the beach.
Being fit is an essential part of the training, both in the water and on the beach. They have to be able to run 200 metres on sand in under three-and-a-half minutes and run 200 metres on land in under 40 seconds.
In week two, they learned how to deal with mass rescues, CPR and major traumas. They are involved in a three-day casualty care course covering injury, illness and immersion. They worked with the coastguards on how to cope with a sand hole collapse and working as a team with the helicopter when it is called to a rescue.
Domini Richard, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: “It is great to see our lifeguards taking all the training on board. They are keen to hone up their skills. They have worked intensively and have demonstrated how skilled they are. The teams are ready to keep the beaches safe for the season. Much of our work is preventative so interaction with the public and reinforcing ways of having fun and being safe, is vital.”
Beach visitors can approach lifeguards and request a wristband on which will be written a contact telephone number, making re-uniting families and children much easier and quicker.
Last summer, at the weekends, there were typically over 40 children each day who had become separated from their families.