We started from Bantham Beach with wonderful weather and thanks to David Grose of the Thurlestone Hotel some wonderful bacon butties cooked to perfection by Pat Ruse. The Bantham Surf Life SavingClub House is about fifteen years old and was built as a result of a Lottery grant for which members of the Club worked very hard to achieve particularly Peter Miles the Club Secretary. It was a pleasure to meet Esther Pearson the new Chief Executive of Surf Life Saving Great Britain.
The Bantham Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1960 and David has had the honour of being its President since 1982. The Club has well over 100 members and is affiliated to Surf Life Saving Great Britain the National Governing Body of which he is currently Chairman. Bantham SLSC leases out part of its Club premises to the RNLI. in order to facilitate their operations there. All the RNLI Lifeguards are paid and all the Club members are volunteers who live locally, many within the constituency. The Club is a community initiative and it is a thriving and valuable community asset.
Last year the Club volunteers trained eleven life savers. Some of these trained life savers will be employed by the RNLI in other parts of the country as Lifeguards. Surf Life Saving Great Britain has 72 Clubs such as Bantham all round the coast of GB and we have helped the RNLI to establish its Lifeguarding operation in England and Wales. Although RNLI Lifeguards patrol the beach during the week the Bantham SLSC members patrol at the weekends under the supervision of the head RNLI Lifeguard. The sea conditions at the beach can be extremely dangerous with changing rips and moving sand banks. Over the years the Club members have carried out many rescues. Some of the people rescued would almost certainly have drowned but for the courageous action of our lifesavers.
Pictures courtesy of Rupert Hancock and David Cohen
Sarah on Hope Cove Lifeboat
Leaving North Sands