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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A day in the life of a Donegal Beach Lifeguard

A day in the life of a Donegal Beach Lifeguard


GoVisitDonegal.com wanted an excuse to get out of the office and enjoy some of this amazing weather, so decided it was about time that we took a trip to Culdaff, one of 13 Blueflag Beaches in County Donegal to speak to the Lifeguards about their day-to-day job.
 

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Our Beach Lifeguards

GoVisitDonegal.com arrived at Culdaff Blue flag Beach on the Inishowen Peninsula on Thursday 11th July. It was evident upon arrival that the beach was busy. All Car Parks were verging on full and there was a steady flow of people coming and going in Culdaff village. The temperature in the car was measuring a balmy 26C and it was definitely time for a cooling dip in the sea and walk on beach.

Malachy and Stephen Striking a Pose
GoVisitDonegal.com met Malachy Kelly (30) and Stephen McCabe (24), the beach lifeguards on duty at the time and got an insight into the typical day on Culdaff Beach.
 
GoVisitDonegal.com - "Malachy, tell me about an average day here in Culdaff Beach."

Malachy - "Our shift starts normally at 12pm every day. But I try to arrive at least 30 minutes early to ensure that everything is in order. I generally open the hut, check and erect the flags, empty the recycle bins, check our equipment and begin the beach patrols. Every day is different as a lifeguard and naturally enough much depends on the weather and sea conditions as to how the day is going to go. For example, a day like today is completely different than on an overcast or wet day. We have alot of families and young children on the beach and in the water. But on other days, the beach will be alot quieter but with perhaps surfers or swimmers in the water. As Beach Lifeguards we need to be ready for any eventuality."

GoVisitDonegal.com - "Its obviously been extremely warm for the last couple of weeks, have you had to carry out any rescues this summer so far?

Stephen - " We have had a couple of rescues to carry out. One involved a child getting stuck out on the rocks, and injured them self. And the other was two children (12 & 8 Year Old), getting into difficulties having swam from one side of the bay to another. But typically, we have encountered a number of lost children due to the crowds coming in the good weather."

GoVisitDonegal.com "What advice would you give to anyone using the Blue flag Beaches?"

Stephen - "Always swim between the flags, talk to the lifeguards on duty about the conditions on any given day and respect the water"

GoVisitDonegal.com - "Have you had any out of the ordinary incidents this year?"

Malachy - "We actually had a red flag (meaning it is unsafe to use the water) earlier in the week when a dense fog descended on the beach and visibility was reduced to less than a couple of feet. We had to get people out of the water for their own safety. That isn't something that happens every day".

GoVisitDonegal.com - " As you may know, GoVisitDonegal.com is the official tourism website for County Donegal, therefore, I have to ask you where is your favourite part of County Donegal?

Malachy - "It has to be Harvey's Point, Lough Eske. It is where I got married."
 
Stephen - "Anywhere in Inishowen. My girlfriend is from Buncrana, so I will say there!"
 

And that was that. After our chat with the Beach Lifeguards, GoVisitDonegal.com took the opportunity to take a dip in the warm Inishowen water and is happy to report that it was definitely pleasant.

If you are planning a trip to Donegal this summer, check out GoVisitDonegal.com for all your holiday needs.