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Lifeguards and beach safety

Where to find lifeguards on beaches in Bournemouth and Poole, plus information on where you can swim in safety.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) provides beach safety in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, funded by BCP Council.  

Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months at the following main beaches from 1 May to 30 September every year, 10am to 6pm.


  • Sandbanks
  • Shore road
  • Branksome Chine


  • Alum Chine
  • Durley Chine
  • Bournemouth West
  • Bournemouth East
  • Bournemouth Far East (multi coloured huts)
  • Boscombe West
  • Boscombe East
  • Manor Steps
  • Fisherman’s Walk
  • Southbourne


  • Avon
  • Highcliffe

During the main season there are lifeguard stations at beaches between Sandbanks and Highcliffe. For exact locations and patrol times of the lifeguarded beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole visit the RNLI website.

From 1 October 2021 to 1 May 2022, no on-site lifeguard services operate from our beaches.

Designated bathing areas  

Designated bathing areas are marked out on beaches using the RNLI's red and yellow flags. These flags indicate areas patrolled by lifeguards.

In designated bathing areas, these craft are not permitted:

  • boats
  • personal watercraft
  • wind or kite surfers
  • large, solid body boards.

Seafront Rangers  

Our friendly team of Seafront Rangers are there to give advice and help you enjoy the seafront.

As well as patrolling the promenades and beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, the team work from beach offices at:

  • Sandbanks
  • Shore Road (seasonal) 
  • Branksome Chine (seasonal)
  • Alum Chine (seasonal)
  • Durley Chine (seasonal)
  • Bournemouth
  • Boscombe
  • Fisherman’s Walk (seasonal)
  • Southbourne (seasonal).