LIFEBOAT volunteers have warned they “could struggle to meet demand” if there is a rush of people attending East Lothian’s beaches as lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

The RNLI in Scotland has reacted to the Scottish Government’s plans for easing lockdown with an important safety warning.

The government plans, which will permit people to travel short distances, limited to five miles, for exercise including outdoor swimming, kayaking and angling, have prompted the lifesaving charity to call for the public to stay safe.

Gary Fairbairn, coxswain at Dunbar Lifeboat Station, understood people were keen for a change of scenery.

He said: “However, we are really asking the public for their help.

“Our team of dedicated volunteers is always there to help but, in order to attend a shout, we must break physical distancing instructions, putting ourselves and our families at risk.

“We also cannot be everywhere at once; if we see a sudden increase in people visiting Dunbar and its neighbouring beaches, our volunteer-run service could struggle to meet demand. We are asking people to still stay local, don’t drive to visit the coast and, if you’re a local, please stay aware of the inherent risks and check tide times.”

RNLI and Coastguard teams across East Lothian were called out three times last weekend.

The RNLI stressed an easing of lockdown did not mean a safer coastline and warned water temperatures remain dangerously cold.