Unsettled weather and coastal fog looming,RNLI warns beachgoers of the dangers

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI lifeguards across beaches in the south west have been dealing with thick coastal fog and poor visibility out to sea this week alongside heightened humidity levels.


Beach in North Devon red flagged due to sea fog

With the Met Office predicting more unsettled weather over the next few days, the RNLI is raising awareness of the potential dangers around the coast during these conditions.

Amid the August heatwave, coastal areas across the south west have been experiencing reduced visibility, muggy conditions and thunderstorms. This often results in coastal fog which usually occurs in the spring and summer months when conditions begin to warm up but the sea (which warms more slowly) stays relatively cold.

RNLI lifeguards across the south west have sometimes needed to red flag the beach if conditions are too dangerous, such as the risk of lightening and poor visibility out to sea. Due to the sporadic weather conditions, the lifeguards may need to fly the red flag at different points throughout the day, removing it if conditions improve, and the red and yellow flagged area may appear a lot smaller than usual.

Steve Instance, RNLI Water Safety Lead in the south west, says, ‘If our lifeguards can’t see you, we can’t save you if you get into difficulty in the water.

‘We are urging beachgoers to only enter the water between the red and yellow flags and always ask the lifeguards for advice – a red flag simply means it is too dangerous to enter the water.’

Notes to Editors

· Please find attached photos of RNLI lifeguard’s safety precautions during coastal fog

· Follow the link to see which beaches are currently lifeguarded https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/beaches-with-lifeguards-on-patrol

· To support the RNLI’s lifesavers, go to: www.rnli.org/donate

Media contacts
For more information please contact Becky Bright, Regional Media Engagement Placement on Becky_Bright@rnli.org.uk or 07375855897, or Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk or 07920818807 or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or via pressoffice@rnli.org.uk .

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.

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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.