DUNBAR’S version of Baywatch will see volunteer lifeguards patrol Belhaven Bay in a bid to make the beach and water a safer place for swimmers and surfers this summer.

A grant of £10,000 has been given to Dunbar Surf Life Saving Club (DSLSC) to run the project, which will see training given to volunteers, as well as raising awareness of the risks associated with the coast.

The money, from the Big Lottery Fund, will ensure the Dunbar organisation is the first of its kind in Scotland to run a volunteer Beach Surf Lifesaving Patrol.

Sally Harris, head coach of DSLSC, told the Courier: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding from the National Lottery.

“We will now be able to put together Scotland’s first community-led voluntary surf lifesaving beach patrol team in Dunbar.

“The funding will also allow us to continue our preventative education programme, helping to reduce the national coastal drowning statistics.”

The aims of the Belhaven Bay Community Life Saving Beach Patrol are to provide a lifesaving service for the community and visitors, to prevent accidental drowning and injury among beach users.

Training will also be given to young people and adults in the community to deliver the services while also raising awareness of the risks associated with using the beach and sea.

In 2015, more than 300 people drowned in the UK.

Belhaven Bay, within John Muir Country Park, is a favourite spot for surfers, open-water swimmers and water sports enthusiasts from across the country and beyond.

The Beach Patrol will initially operate during the busy summer weekends.

Dunbar and East Linton ward member Councillor Norman Hampshire welcomed the scheme.

He said: “As the local ward councillor, I am delighted that Belhaven ‘Baywatch’ with Scotland’s first volunteer Beach Patrol Service are going to start this year.

“I would like to congratulate them on their successful application to the Big Lottery.

“This will provide some good training opportunities for young people and adults in the area.”

George Robertson, chairman of Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership, wished the club the best of luck.

He said: “It is a worthwhile objective and if it makes the beach safer one must applaud it.”