AFTER a busy summer preventing and responding to incidents along the south west coastline, the RNLI lifeguard teams will be bringing down the red and yellow flags for the last time this year on a number of beaches as patrols finish today, Sunday, September 3.

However, many of the region’s beaches will still have RNLI lifeguard cover until Sunday 24 September, and a total of 21 beaches in the region will have extended cover into October and for the October half term week.

Henry Irvine, RNLI Lifeguard Lead for the south west, said: ‘It has been a very busy summer for our lifeguard teams throughout the region despite the unpredictable weather, as people headed to the beach to make the most of the summer holidays.

'We often see a change in weather conditions during September, with Atlantic swells making conditions more challenging. We’re still expecting people to be enjoying the coast, especially if we have some good weather, so it’s important people make sure the beach they’re visiting is lifeguarded.

‘If you are planning on swimming at a lifeguarded beach, we highly recommend you swim between the red and yellow flags as this is the safest area and is most closely monitored by lifeguards.’

Peak season patrols will finish on Sunday 3 September at the following beaches: In Devon - Sandy Bay, Dawlish Warren, Teignmouth Hope Cove, Blackpool Sands, Slapton Sands, Thurlestone, and Bigbury-on-Sea North.

In Cornwall – Freathy, Polurrian Cove, Gunwalloe, Porthleven, Perranuthnoe, Marazion, Porthkidney, Carbis Bay, South Fistral, Lusty Glaze, Crackington Haven and Northcott.

In Dorset - Greenhill (Weymouth), West Bay and Lyme Regis (Cobb).

In Somerset - Burnham-on-Sea and Berrow beaches will also no longer be lifeguarded.

A number of beaches across the south west region will continue lifeguard cover until Sunday 24 September. To find your nearest RNLI lifeguarded beach and check its season dates, visit: