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RNLI urge people to stay safe during large surf forecast

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is urging people to stay safe along the north Cornwall and Devon coast over the coming days, as large surf is expected to hit the region. With no lifeguard service throughout the winter, people are reminded to be careful at the beach and to call 999 if they see someone in difficulty.

D-class lifeboat in large surf

RNLI/Nigel Millard

D-class lifeboat in large surf

Waves are due to increase in height this afternoon (Tuesday 19 November) and increase further overnight, resulting in large swell through most of tomorrow.

Lifeguards are no longer on duty on the region’s beaches and the conditions are expected to be challenging for volunteers operating inshore lifeboats along the exposed coastline.

Dickon Berriman, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, says: ‘We recommend people do not go swimming, and experienced surfers should avoid exposed beaches and only consider surfing at sheltered spots with appropriate supervision. The swell will be incredibly powerful so anglers, coastal walkers and those taking photographs are reminded to keep a safe distance from the water.

‘If you see someone in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

If possible;

  • Maintain visual contact with the casualty(s).
  • Stay on scene to advise rescuers as they arrive.
  • Never attempt a rescue by entering the water yourself.
  • Use public rescue equipment if it is available and it is safe to do so.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected]

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.