TWO RNLI lifeguards will be putting their turkey dinner and present unwrapping on hold this year to spend their Christmas patrolling the beach at Boscombe. The two lifeguards will provide safety cover throughout the season, including Christmas Day and the New Year, when last year more than 7,000 people visited Boscombe beach.
RNLI lifeguards Chris Hornsby and Sam Baily are part of a team which provides safety cover at Boscombe 365 days a year – and Christmas Day will be no different. Chris was on duty last year, while Sam was first to put his name down to work Christmas Day, saying his family were waiting until he gets home to have their festivities.
Sam said: “We are prepared for lots of people to come down to the beach on Christmas Day, either for a swim or wanting to try out their new surfboards. If you are heading down to Boscombe, please come and say hello.” The White Christmas Dip and Spartans Christmas Day swim both take place on Christmas morning.
The charity is also offering safety advice to anyone tempted to brave the cold water this winter. James Millidge, RNLI coastal safety incident reduction manager, said: “We urge anybody thinking about going in the water over the festive period to think very carefully and ensure they are fully prepared. Swimming in the sea is very different to swimming in a pool.
It’s important you respect the water, never swim alone and don’t over-estimate your ability or swim too far out of your depth. The sea conditions can be very challenging and unpredictable during the winter.
“Also the water is extremely cold at this time of year and cold water shock is a major risk. Falling or jumping suddenly into cold water can cause uncontrollable gasping, drawing water into people’s lungs which can cause drowning. It can also seriously affect breathing and movement.”
by Steven Smith