THE RNLI has thanked supporters who backed its request to install a new lifeguard look-out tower on Lyme Regis beach this summer.
The tower arrived this week ready for the lifeguards who will be operating from July 7 until September.
The new-look lifeguard hut was put at the centre of controversy earlier this year, when Lyme Regis Town Council became the only local authority in the area to refuse permission for it to be sited on the beach. Councillors said it was “ugly and unnecessary” and were concerned it was raised above ground level.
However, a petition to reverse their decision was launched by local resident Ryan Turner and received 750 signatures.
After the petition was presented to the council, members agreed to hold further discussions with the RNLI and eventually gave permission for the new lookout tower.
Nigel Jones, the RNLI’s Area Lifesaving Manager for Torbay to Weymouth, said: “The RNLI would like to express its sincerest gratitude for all the local support for the establishment of a new lifeguard tower in Lyme Regis.
“The new, temporary tower replaces the old unit which was at the end of its operational life and provides significant improvements for the delivery of the lifeguard service in Lyme Regis, including vastly improved visibility. The lifeguards can now see over a very crowded beach to the water and beyond to the harbour wall which is a popular location for youngsters jumping into the sea.
“It is also a more conspicuous facility which provides an extremely useful first aid and information service and a focal point for lost children, plus better more modern welfare facilities for the lifeguards.
“Now that it is installed we are pleased how smart and professional it looks and our lifeguards are extremely excited about conducting their duties from it.”
The tower will be removed at the end of the season in September.