Volunteer lifeguards all set for season patrolling Lowestoft’s beaches

Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguard Corps work on Sundays between May and September and for events like th

Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguard Corps work on Sundays between May and September and for events like the christmas day swim. The group training off Lowestoft beach. - Credit: Nick Butcher

They may look like ordinary lifeguards - but every person in these pictures is actually an unpaid volunteer, giving up their free time to keep people safe on the beach.

And as Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguard Corps gears up for another season patrolling 500m of beach near Kensington Gardens every Sunday, members are urging people to be proactive and find out how to be safe on the beach or in the sea.

Training co-ordinator Jonny Rodgers, 27, fits in his lifeguard commitments around a full-time job at Birds Eye, and said: 'We're here to help.

'We want to give advice to the public and we want people to come to us, ask questions and find out what's safe to do and what's not.

'We would like to prevent incidents before they happen - that's our main aim.'

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But until that happens, it is important for the lifeguards to be ready for anything.

So ahead of their first shifts on Sunday, members took advantage of the quiet beach to train in preparation for the patrol season, which runs until September.

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Club captain Lee Simons, 41, works full-time for the police and has been involved with the corps for over 25 years.

As well as going out on patrol on Sundays and during special events on the beach, the corps also talks to children in schools and clubs about how to keep safe on the beach.

Mr Simons said: 'The great thing is when you do a school talk and then the kids come and say hello to you down on the beach - and they remember where to swim and how to keep safe. It makes it all worthwhile.'

The corps already has a defibrillator, first aid equipment, rescue skis and boards but it will soon add another string to its bow.

'We've just secured funding to run a national trainer assessor course along with national beach lifeguard courses,' said Mr Simons.

'We'll be able to run a number of beach lifeguarding courses each year for us to train new members and assist the RNLI in recruiting qualified beach lifeguards around the region.'

To find out more search for the corps on Facebook, or visit them on the beach every Sunday from 10am to 5pm until September.

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