RNLI lifeguards a Scottish first at Coldingham Bay

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Coldingham Bay was awash with photographers when the RNLI launched their first ever beach lifeguard service in Scotland this week.

There will be two RNLI lifeguards on duty at the beach at Coldingham Bay from 10am to 6pm every day from now until the middle of September - the official end of the Scottish bathing season.

Summer lifeguards at the bay have operated for over ten years, employed by Scottish Borders Council, and as the number of visitors to Coldingham Sands continued to increase the council started employing two lifeguards in 2006, providing them with a base and look-out at the beach. Now the council has entered into a five year contract for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to provide the service .

Lifeguards, local girl 17 year old Jamie Lindsay from Hutton who is studying sport and exercise at Borders College and Giordano Ceccanelli, have undergone intensive training in rescue techniques and casualty care and are equipped with the latest water rescue and care equipment including rescue tubes, spinal boards and defibrillators.

David Gorman, RNLI lifeguard supervisor at Coldingham Sands said: “I am really pleased to be so heavily involved with establishing and running the RNLI’s first lifeguard service in Scotland.

“We encourage members of the public to come and say hello to us on the beach, a key role of the lifeguards is to provide beach and water safety advice to beach users.”

The RNLI’s regional operations manager, Andy Clift added: “We are really pleased that we are able to extend our life-saving service and offer a lifeguard service on a Scottish beach, today is a proud day for the RNLI in Scotland.”

Welcoming the new enhanced lifeguard service, Councillor Ron Smith, executive member for planning and environment, said: “The service is the first to be delivered in Scotland by RNLI and will run for five years as part of Scottish Borders Council’s continued drive to improve services for the 20,000 visitors who visit Coldingham Bay each year.

“Awarding the contract to a reputable national charity means that visitors will benefit from RNLI beachguards who are fully equipped and regularly trained, who also provide an on-shore and off-shore life saving service.”

Coldingham Bay has been a Keep Scotland Beautiful, blue flag beach since 2007. It also achieved the Resort Seaside Award flag last year for its safety and water quality.

Derek Robertson, Keep Scotland Beautiful’s chief executive, said: “With an increasing number of people choosing to take their holidays at home in Scotland, there has never been a better time to enjoy your local Scottish Borders beach.