SUMMER is almost here and a new crop of lifeguards has started patrolling a busy Isle of Wight beach.
Following an intensive training course, the team of eight lifeguards and two beach safety volunteers will patrol the beach between Ryde Harbour and Appley during weekends in June.
From July 1 until the beginning of September, they will be on hand seven days a week from 11am to 6pm to make sure beachgoers are safe, provide first aid, pick up litter and offer tourist information.
This year, the team has a new kayak, body board and a portable defibrillator.
The beach lifeguards are run by the Waterside Community Trust, which also manages the seafront’s Waterside Pool, canoe lake, paddling pool and cafe, and paid for by Ryde Town Council at an annual cost of £20,000. The town council has picked up the tab since the IW Council scrapped funding for lifeguards two years ago.
Trust chairman Ian Jenkins said the lifeguards were vital, not just to keep people safe but to create a good impression for tourists.
"It shows, as a town, we want to look after our beach and make it safe for people to enjoy. Our lifeguards give out free water and they provide information about nearby facilities and attractions," he said.
"It’s good for people to see them on patrol."
Picture caption: From left, Ed Callaghan, James Hamilton, Jordan Paulet, Kit Marsleet and Will Hamilton. Front, Rebecca Woodford, Melissa Hewison, Waterside Community Trust chairman Ian Jenkins, beach first aider Jordan Paulett, Ryde mayor Cllr Roi Millburn, Ella Hillier and Beth Crockford.