Lifeguards set to start patrols on Whitehead shoreline

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An announcement to make Whitehead the first resort in Northern Ireland to have voluntary lifeguards patrolling the sea front, was made in January 1967.

The announcement was made by the Royal Life Saving Society, who planned to introduce the patrols in the summer of 1967.

Their plan was being supported by the Whitehead Urban Council. The guards would patrol some of the most dangerous shorelines in the area. Portrush was the only other resort at the time in Northern Ireland to have a lifeguard patrol.

However, the patrol in Portrush was conducted by professional lifeguards and not volunteers from the society. The lifeguards in Portrush were employed by the local council in the area.

Whitehead Urban Council were to accommodate the part-time life savers in the swimming pool building on the sea front. They also pledged to help the society to buy any equipment that was needed. Clerk to Whitehead Urban Council, Jack McKimm said: “Whenever they need any further help- in getting equipment or anything- the council will be glad to discuss the problems and help in any way they can.”