Scarborough RNLI

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Saving lives around Scarborough's seas since 1801

Lifeguards have been reinstated at north and south bay Scarborough but lifeguard beach patrols remain suspended on Cayton bay.

Stay Safe

Make sure you know these flags and always observe them:-

Red yellow flag - safe area to swim

Yellow and Red flag

Marks area for swimming with lifeguard on duty.

Black white flag - area for surfers

Black and White Flag

Area for surfers. No swimming allowed.

Red flag - conditions unsafe no swimming

All Red Flag

Water conditions too dangerous to swim in

Orange cone - no inflateables on water

Orange Cone

Danger no inflatables to be used on water

Yellow triangle beware of hazard

Yellow Triangle

Warning of Hazard (Graphic will illustrate danger)

White circle red border - prohibited activity

White Circle, Red Border

Graphic will indicate prohibited activity.

Lifeguard News

Scarborough north bay lifeguards return

Lifeguards will return to the north bay in Scarborough this weekend, as the RNLI steps up its lifesaving service to coincide with the further easing of government restrictions on the tourism and hospitality industries.

Since lockdown restrictions were eased in May, the RNLI has worked hard to roll out professional lifeguard patrols on more than 100 beaches in England, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

This weekend, that number will increase to more than 160, including the north bay. Lifeguards returned to the south bay last month. Cayton Bay remains without a lifeguard service.

New measures to deal with the coronavirus mean the RNLI lifeguard service looks a little different this year. Lifeguards will wear PPE like ambulance crews in some situations. New protocols for all first responders mean the lifeguards may not deal with some minor first-aid cases but will support people to treat themselves. They will try to keep socially distant from beach goers and may need to adopt different patrol methods at times, such as not using the red and yellow flags and asking people to keep apart but close to shore, to help keep people safe while maintaining social distancing.

The charity is continuing to urge anyone planning to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice. Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember to:

* Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

* Keep a close eye on your family - on the beach and in the water

* Don't allow your family to swim alone

* Don't use inflatables

* If you fall into the water unexpectedly, Float to Live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float

* In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the coastguard

The charity's regional lifesaving manager, Darren Lewis, said: "With schools not yet fully open and restrictions on foreign travel, we know this could be the busiest summer ever for our lifeguards and lifeboat crews. I want to thank all those lifeguards who have already started their patrols or are now preparing to get back on the beach. They know this will be a challenging summer and are doing a brilliant job helping to keep the public safe during this pandemic.

"We must all continue to be aware that the risks from the pandemic have not gone away, but if people work with us and the other emergency services by following social distancing and other government guidance, we hope to be able to continue to provide lifeguard services this season".

A spokesperson for the team responsible for beaches and bathing waters at Scarborough Council said: "We are really pleased that from this coming weekend, all but two of the beaches in our borough that would normally be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards at this time of year will have the service provided.

"The lifeguards are working in unprecedented times, dealing with the difficulties of operating during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, on top of the usual challenges they ordinarily face in their day-to-day job.

"We ask all beach users not to put themselves, their families, other beach users and the lifeguards at risk. Be responsible and sensible, pay attention to the messages conveyed by RNLI signs and flags and above all, stay safe."

Posted Saturday 04 July 2020 09:58 am by

Lifeguards return to south bay Scarborough

RNLI lifeguards will return to Scarborough's south bay tomorrow (Sat 30 May).

A spokesperson for the charity said: "​​​We've been working hard to put on a lifeguard service as quickly as possible in the middle of the pandemic, with all the new challenges that involves.

"The phased roll-out of lifeguards on beaches began last weekend when they returned to their patrols at St Ouen beach in Jersey. This weekend, there will be lifeguard patrols on a further 16 beaches in England and we will be rolling out to a total of 70 beaches over the next few weeks".

Besides Scarborough's south bay, the other beaches are Bournemouth East, Broadstairs (Viking Bay), Camber Central, Constantine, Crosby, Croyde, Fistral, Gwithian, Longsands, Mawgan Porth, New Brighton, Perranporth, Polzeath, Sea Palling and Widemouth.

"Once the 70 beaches are rolled out, and there is no further spike in coronavirus or the reintroduction of restrictions, we are planning to put lifeguards on many more beaches over the summer season", the spokesperson added.

NB please note: south bay only, not the north bay

Posted Friday 29 May 2020 05:43 pm by

Over a thousand children take part in Scarborough Swimsafe

(Words and photos by Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry)

About a thousand youngsters took advantage of the RNLI's Swim Safe programme in Scarborough this summer.
The borough mayor, Cllr Hazel Lynskey, visited the RNLI team who were helping with Swim Safe on the north beach.
Mike Kemp of Radio York interviewed several participants for a piece that was broadcast on the station's breakfast show twice.
Swim Safe is for children aged 7-14 to learn vital water-safety skills for free.
They learn how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.
The fun, hour-long sessions took place at the Beach Management Centre in the north bay.

The money to run the programme were raised as part of the Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund. Andrew was a well-loved local man who died after going into the water to rescue his dog, despite efforts by Scarborough RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to rescue him.
Children must be able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part. The sessions begin with them receiving water-safety advice on land, before heading into the water for practical tuition with qualified instructors.
Children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel, as all the kit to take part, including wetsuits, swim hats and flotation equipment, is provided. They will get free Swim Safe goodies to take home.
RNLI lifeguard supervisor Helen Peterson says: "Children love swimming outdoors, but it's very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim. It's essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.
"We want all children to grow up learning these vital life skills. Our partnership with Swim England has enabled us to run these sessions for free. They are a chance for parents and carers to get advice on helping their children stay safe around open water".
Swim England and the RNLI created Swim Safe in 2013. Having grown year on year, it is this year running at 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The programme aims to support the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy's aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50% by 2026.
For more information about Swim Safe, visit

Posted Thursday 22 August 2019 05:53 am by

Swimsafe Bridlington

Paul Atkinson for the photo

Fantastic day at Bridlington Swimsafe we have had 114 children through the programme Plenty of spaces available, if your child is aged 7-14years and can swim 25 metres. Its free and its fun

Posted Saturday 17 August 2019 11:25 am by

Scarborough Lifeguard Assists Clacton Rescue

A Scarborough RNLI lifeguard sprang into action when a woman broke her femur and dislocated her knee on Clacton beach yesterday.
Cade Dickinson had been sent to the Essex resort to help run the RNLI's Swim Safe programme for a couple of weeks.
The casualty slipped while walking to the beach and sustained serious injuries. Both the council-run beach patrol and the RNLI lifeguards assisted with her care before handing her over to paramedics.
Cade was with fellow lifeguard Lauren Cook, from Bridlington (pictured).
RNLI lifeguard supervisor Dave Brant said: "Luckily the casualty had a great team to assist with her injuries. We at the RNLI take pride in working together with other agencies to provide the best outcome. In this case the woman was treated at the scene until paramedics arrived. Both our RNLI lifeguards and the beach patrol did a great job and we'd like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery".
* Children aged 7-14 can learn vital water-safety skills for free, as Swim England and the RNLI's Swim Safe programme returns this August.
The fun, hour-long sessions will take place at the Beach Management Centre in the North Bay, Scarborough, from 5-9 and 19-23 August.
They will teach young people how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.
Booking is essential. To book a free place, go to
For more information about Swim Safe, visit

* If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Posted Thursday 25 July 2019 02:03 pm by PH

Early Morning Exercise

Images and Words by Dave Barry RNLI press officer

When most people were enjoying a nice Sunday morning lie-in, Scarborough RNLI was up with the larks for an exercise which forms a crucial part of the charity's ongoing training programme.
The early risers included Scarborough Tec media make-up tutor Kelly Carr, who applied realistic and rather gruesome injuries to six volunteer 'casualties' from the RNLI's Face to Face team.
Kelly and her students often simulate wounds for training at the hospital. This was her first event for the RNLI.
The scenario: a small fishing boat developed engine failure and caught fire in the south bay. The situation was triaged and the pretend casualties were treated aboard the vessel before being taken ashore by the inshore lifeboat.
A certain amount of acting was required. Jess Hopkin, for example, landed the role of a young woman whose injury was relatively slight yet insisted she be treated first.
The participants included numerous RNLI personnel and lifeguards, two of whom paddled out on surfboards to assist.

Posted Sunday 14 July 2019 04:20 pm by PH

Scorching Start To Lifeguard Season

Photos by Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry

RNLI lifeguards in Scarborough had a busy start to the season as the temperature reached 26 degrees.
Daily patrols started on Saturday 29 June, when the south-bay beach had over 30,000 visitors. Most were there for Armed Forces Day.
It was the busiest start to the season in recent memory. Lifeguards on other parts of the Yorkshire coast dealt with numerous incidents including over 20 missing children.
Lifeguard supervisor Dave Brant said: "The number of visitors at the weekend was unprecedented. Our lifeguards did incredible work to keep beachgoers safe despite the challenging number of vistors. Luckily, the busiest part of the day coincided with high tide. Had it been low tide, we would've dealt with a lot more incidents and a lot more missing children.
"We would like to remind families that we have launched a wristband scheme in conjunction with the coastguard to aid in reuniting missing children with their families.
"The wristbands are free and can be collected at lifeboat and lifeguard stations and RNLI shops along the Yorkshire coast. Parents and guardians can write their contact details on the wristband, making it easier and quicker to reunite children if they get lost".
For more information on how to stay safe on the coast this summer, visit

Posted Thursday 04 July 2019 07:46 am by PH

Lifeguards Training

Kay Jackson

Scarborough RNLI lifeguards were in the south bay yesterday, training in preparation for the holiday season. There was a lively surf with plenty of good training opportunities.

Posted Monday 27 May 2019 05:47 pm by PH

Thorpe Solicitors Generous Donation

Staff at Thorpe & Co Solicitors in Scarborough raised £834.45 through 2018 for the RNLI's Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund. The money raised by the staff was from various events throughout the year, such as Dress Down Days, Biggest Weight Loser, and a Great British Bake Off.
The £834.45 will go towards teachiing children aged from 7 years to 14 years about swimming safely in the sea and open water during August.
Pictured is Donna Loveland, a representative from the RNLI's Andrew McGeown Legacy Fund accepting the cheque from staff at Thorpe & Co Solicitors.
The money will be used to help train children in water safety at Scarborough's two beaches.

Posted Monday 27 May 2019 05:47 pm by PH