As the summer season approaches lifeguards are returning to Norfolk’s beaches to keep a watchful eye on swimmers and sunbathers.

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Teams of RNLI lifeguards will be heading out from today to patrol the sands at Sheringham, Cromer East, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston beaches.

The highly-trained teams will be on site daily from 10am - 6pm throughout the summer until September 15.

A further three beaches at East Runton, Cromer West and Hemsby will also have daily patrols in time for the main school holidays from July 6 to September 8.

In preparation for the season, lifeguards have been put through their paces with timed swims, beach runs and extensive casualty care training.

Lifeguard manager Vince Pank said: “We are very pleased to be returning to provide a lifeguarding service to nine local beaches.

“Whilst our lifeguards are well-equipped to tackle rescue and first aid scenarios, 95pc of their work is preventative. During patrols they are on hand to provide beach safety advice and answer the questions of Norfolk’s beachgoers.”

Last summer Norfolk lifeguards responded to 704 incidents, and spoke to more than 18,000 beachgoers.

Mr Pank added: “Throughout the summer, the RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the coast is to choose a lifeguarded beach, particularly if you’re planning to go in the water because you’re much safer when you have highly-trained lifesavers looking out for you.”

This summer the charity has also launched a new mobile phone app that locates a user’s position and then lists the nearest lifeguarded beach.

It also provides important information such as water quality, the lifeguards’ patrol dates and times and hazard details, such as tidal cut off points or rip currents.

l The free app can be downloaded from www.rnli.org/beach

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