Cruden Bay-Watch; RNLI Recruits an Army of Lifeguards to Rescue Scottish Swimmers
Byline: Hannah Roberts
IN the hit TV show Baywatch, they ran across the golden sands of Southern California, bravely bringing stricken swimmers back to the sun-kissed shore.
Now lifeguards are set to begin patrolling in Scotland after a surge in the number of holidaymakers in trouble on the nation's beaches.
The move came after some lifeboat stations around the country saw callouts treble this summer.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) responded to an average of five a day, many of which could have been dealt with by shore-based lifeguards instead of a fully-crewed sea rescue craft.
RNLI spokesman Richard Smith said 'In these economic conditions, more and more people are going to the beach in Scotland rather than abroad.
'The RNLI has always responded to changes in the way people use the sea.
'Our aim is to double the size of our lifeguarding service over the next three years so that every UK region that needs lifeguard cover on its beaches has seasonal patrols.'
Red and yellow-clad RNLI lifeguards were first introduced on beaches in South-West England in 2001 and can now be seen all over England and Wales.
Lifeguards south of the Border saved 60 lives last year, but pressure on the service is increasing as record numbers of people hit the beaches.
In 2009, 912 people had to be rescued in Scottish waters, up from 768 in 2008.
As the number of people holidaying at home soars, so too has the number of call-outs . Statistics released yesterday show lifeboats made 430 rescues in June, July and August. …