A new lifeguard base proposed for Sandown

A new lifeguard base is planned by Sandown Town Council on the town’s Esplanade beach.

It will be a converted shipping container, close to where the previous lifeguard station was, which was damaged by storms early in 2020. The RNLI withdrew its beach safety service later that year due to Covid and the damaged structure was removed in 2021.

Now, ahead of the summer season, the town council wants to provide a permanent base for the lifeguards after they were left running the service from a collapsible gazebo, which raised issues such as limited visibility and poor shelter for staff and those needing help.

Last summer, nearly 30,000 people were estimated to have visited Sandown beach, with the lifeguards carrying out more than 500 safety actions, including saving two lives.

It is proposed the station will be manned from 11am-6pm every day throughout the summer. It would be slightly to the left of the old one, to leave the stairs to the beach clear, which was previously an issue.

The container will have a vandal-proof shutter, changing room and observation platform, painted in the recognisable ‘lifeguard yellow’, and would be removed over the winter.

You can view the plans, 22/00591/FUL, on the council’s planning register. Comments can be submitted until May 23.