LIFEGUARDS at Cold Knap in Barry may be forced to disband due to being unable to access the life-saving equipment they need.

The building the lifeguards had called home was locked up around two months ago after surveyors noted it was in a dangerous state.

They had to vacate the premises immediately, but the equipment that they use every day in their voluntary roles as lifeguards was locked away inside.

Chairman Paul Edwards said the Vale of Glamorgan Council had promised to provide storage for the equipment, but this is yet to happen.

Now, he said, volunteers are quitting as they see no point in training without the necessary equipment, meaning the group which was formed in 1962 could fold.

Mr Edwards, who has been involved in lifeguarding since he was 11 years old and joined the group in 1977, said: "I think the council panicked a bit in shutting [the building] down.

"I know the report said there was a potential for damage, but it's been like that for the past 10 years.

"It left us right in the lurch, we just had a note saying we can't go in there.

"For about a month, we had no consultation really at all with them and now we're still in limbo.

"We're waiting on them to get back to us to tell us what's happening and nobody is getting back to us to tell us what's going on."

Mr Edwards said that he was scheduled to have a video call meeting with councillors on Wednesday, June 29, but he was the only person to turn up.

He said that there had been no attempt to contact him.

Also locked away is the team's rescue boat, which raises the prospect of maintenance issues as it has not been routinely used recently.

However, the main issue is that of members leaving.

The group currently has around 70 members, though a large portion of that number are junior members aged between seven and 18 years old.

"A lot of them are getting bored and disillusioned," said Mr Edwards.

"Instead of coming down and using the equipment, they're just coming down and swimming in the sea every day, every weekend.

"They think 'well, why should I bother?'

"They're not getting the proper training they should be getting."

If more leave and the group has to fold, then Mr Edwards said that "there is the potential that lives could be lost."

Since 1996, the group have saved 54 lives - though the area is getting more popular all the time.

The group saved 11 lives in total during 2020 and 2021.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council have been contacted for comment.