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Bondi Beach to Rest Bay – South Wales RNLI lifeguards’ newest recruit

Lifeguards News Release

A 24-year-old who spent last winter lifeguarding on one of the world’s most iconic beaches is the newest recruit to join the RNLI’s Wales lifeguard team in time for their peak summer season.

Chris Emery spent seven months over the winter on duty on Sydney’s Bondi beach - regarded as among the top jobs in the world of lifeguarding.

Now the Australian has made the long trip to Wales to join the RNLI’s lifeguard team for the summer and will be mainly stationed on Rest Bay – one of four beaches in Porthcawl covered by a new RNLI seasonal lifeguard service for 2016.

Chris, whose every step on Bondi beach was followed by film crews making the 11th series of the popular Bondi Rescue show, said days where 25,000 people would flock to the beach and lifeguards would carry out more than 200 rescues were commonplace. Now he will be adding his experience to the South Wales lifeguard team as they enter their busiest period of summer holidays.

Chris, who is originally from Perth, Western Australia, but moved to Sydney and was selected from more than 70 applicants for the Bondi role last year, said: ‘I am really pleased to be joining the Wales RNLI lifeguard team for the summer.

‘It is a bit of a change from lifeguarding in Bondi – for a start there isn’t a camera crew following us around! But seriously, the standard of training provided by the RNLI is excellent and the emphasis here is on preventing incidents before they occur.’

It is Chris’ second stint with the RNLI, after two seasons lifeguarding with the charity in Jersey in 2011 and 2012.

‘I’m still getting used to the Welsh climate, but I’m wrapping up warm on the cold days!

‘The RNLI is providing a lifeguard service on more beaches in Wales this year than ever before so it’s a great time to join the team.’

he RNLI is currently providing a daily lifeguard service on 39 beaches across Wales, with lifeguards on duty daily on all beaches between 10am and 6pm throughout the summer holidays.

This year lifeguards have begun new seasonal services on Rest Bay, Pink Bay, Coney Beach and Trecco Bay in Porthcawl, Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches in Denbighshire and Three Cliffs Bay on Gower. 

Jacob Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘It’s great to have Chris on board with us this summer and we hope his experience of lifeguarding in different corners of the world will be a valuable asset to our team.

‘The summer holidays have kicked off so we are in the busiest period of the year on the beaches and our lifeguards are on hand every day throughout the summer to provide information and advice on safety to visitors.

‘We advise people to always choose a lifeguarded beach and to swim between the red and yellow flags. All of our lifeguards are approachable so I would urge anyone with any questions about any aspect of beach safety to say hi and have a chat with them.’

The RNLI also operates a seasonal lifeguard service on beaches in the Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. The services are provided in partnership between the RNLI and councils and other landowners.

In 2015 the charity’s lifeguards responded to 815 incidents and assisted 901 people in Wales. For more information and advice on all aspects of beach and coastal safety visit the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign website at rnli.org/RespectTheWater.  For a full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches please visit http://rnli.org/aboutus/lifeguardsandbeaches/Pages/Lifeguarded-beaches.aspx.

Notes to editors:

The attached pictures show:

- Chris Emery on duty at Rest Bay in Porthcawl. Credit RNLI

- Chris (far left) spent the winter lifeguarding on the world famous Bondi Beach and features in series 11 of the Bondi Rescue show.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.