26 April, 2012
Beach season officially kicks off in Eastbourne from May 1 when lifeguards will be operating on the main resort beach until September 30.
All of Eastbourne’s lifeguards are fully trained in first aid, rescue methods, life support, spinal management, weather meteorology, boat handling and regularly undergo fitness training.
However, as much as we want people to enjoy their time at the beach it can be a dangerous place. Each year the lifeguards attend hundreds of incidents because people ignore safety information or don’t take the right precautions.
That is why we are offering our latest Tyro Lifeguard Course. The sessions run throughout the school summer holidays at the Lifeguard Station on the Seafront and are a unique opportunity for your child to learn all they need to know about staying safe and having fun by the sea.
Each session is three hours either morning (10-1pm) or afternoon (2-5pm) and is run by our qualified and experienced team. They include: personal survival, beach rescue skills, essential beach safety and being safe in the sun.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley said “I think the Tyro Lifeguard Course is a great way for parents to improve their child’s safety on the beach. Eastbourne’s beaches are a fantastic place for families over the summer, but unfortunately they are unpredictable and for that reason we want to make the environment as safe as possible for everyone. Our lifeguards do a fantastic job throughout the season, so it would be great to see them pass on their skills to our younger generations.”
To attend the course your child must be able to swim 100 metres unaided. There are four levels to the course and one level runs for each three hour session.
Level one is an introduction to the beach and sea, local hazards and flags. Level two includes basic first aid, sea rescues, radio calls and signals. Level three has more first aid (including basic life support), paddle board training, open water rescues and an introduction to the rescue boat and its uses. Level four teaches rescues from the boat (involving going out in the boat), advanced first aid (what to do in case of spinal injuries and open wounds) and the Tyro legends challenge!
The course dates are as follows –30 and 31 July and 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 August. Each three hours session costs £18 or £60 for all four levels.
Eastbourne’s lifeguards also operate the Kidzsafe wristband system, which prevents kids getting lost on the beach. The Kidzsafe scheme is where parents can collect free brightly coloured, waterproof wristbands from the lifeguards with a space to enter their mobile number and put on their child.
Lifeguards can then easily contact parents in case of separation from their child. The wristbands are completely free and available from the Lifeguard and First Aid Post and the Seafront Office.
Also available to help kids stay safe in the summer sun are the free Kids Beach Safety Packs with everything needed to be safe on Eastbourne’s beaches. The packs include a sachet of Boots high factor children’s sun-cream, a wristband and a children’s ‘Beach Safety’ activity sheet and crayons. These can be obtained from the seafront office or through the e-shop on the Visit Eastbourne website.
For more information about Eastbourne’s lifeguard services and the courses available contact the Seafront Office on 01323 410611 or visit the Visit Eastbourne website. Or download our ‘Beach Safety’ leaflet, which gives you lots of good beach safety advice, including being safe in the sun.