AFTER what seems like a long winter, RNLI lifeguards are back preparing their kit and ready to return to the beach over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

RNLI lifeguards will be at their posts from 10am on Good Friday (April 18) at Whitmore Bay in Barry Island to offer safety advice and assistance to beachgoers over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Whitmore Bay was the busiest Welsh RNLI lifeguarded beach for the second year running in 2013 as the lifeguards responded to 221 incidents and assisted 236 people.

Stuart Thompson, South Wales RNLI Lifeguard manager said: "RNLI lifeguards are trained to respond to a range of incidents both on the beach and in the water; we work with the Ambulance Service as First Responders to deal with minor and major first aid incidents, rescue people from rip currents as well as assisting other emergency services to help search for missing children.

"It was great to see thousands of people enjoy the hot weather on Welsh beaches last summer and hopefully we’ll see more of the sun again this year. When enjoying the coast we advise people to try and visit a lifeguarded beach and to always swim or bodyboard between the red and yellow flags – this is the area that’s patrolled by the lifeguards. If you get into trouble raise your hand and shout for help; or if you see someone else in danger please don’t try and attempt the rescue yourself – tell a lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

RNLI lifeguards will be ready at their posts between 10am-6pm on Whitmore Bay throughout the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

A weekend and Bank Holiday safety cover will be provided by the charity’s lifeguards at Whitmore Bay from Saturday, May 3. The charity’s lifeguards will be offering daily safety cover on the beach from May 24 until Sunday, September 7.