The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has expressed regret that it will not provide a lifeguard service at Bexhill-on-Sea for the 2023 season.
Despite making strenuous efforts to attract lifeguard candidates through targeted local advertising, comprehensive leafleting campaigns in local and neighbouring towns, recruitment fairs, and online engagement, the RNLI has faced significant difficulties in meeting its staffing requirements due to the challenging recruitment climate.
As a result of these challenges, the decision has been made not to operate the lifeguard base at Bexhill-on-Sea for Rother District Council this year. However, the lifeguard service at Camber Sands will remain unaffected.
While lifeguards will not be stationed at Bexhill-on-Sea, the RNLI remains committed to ensuring the safety of beach visitors and plans to deploy a face-to-face team at Bexhill-on-Sea to provide safety advice throughout the season.
During the peak summer period, Rother District Council coastal officers and beach patrol will be present along Bexhill seafront, offering first aid services and sea safety advice. They will also raise appropriate sea safety flags as required by weather conditions.
Councillor Hazel Timpe, lead councillor for Neighbourhood Services, Tourism, and the Joint Waste Contract at Rother District Council, expressed disappointment with the outcome but acknowledged the RNLI’s significant recruitment efforts. She stated, “Our own council staff will continue to play their part in promoting beach and water safety, and I’m pleased that the RNLI is considering providing a face-to-face team to offer sea safety advice to our residents and visitors at Bexhill seafront.”
The RNLI highlights the importance of beach safety and urges everyone planning to visit the coast this summer to remember key safety points:
- Swim at a lifeguarded beach, if available.
- Call 999 or 112 in an emergency.
- Remember the “Float to Live” technique.
- Be aware of the risks and know what to do.
- Familiarize yourself with beach safety flags.
The RNLI regrets any inconvenience caused by the absence of a lifeguard base at Bexhill-on-Sea for the 2023 season. The organization remains dedicated to saving lives at sea and preventing drowning, and will continue to explore alternative approaches to address recruitment challenges in the future.