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RNLI issue additional safety warning for the south west

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI have issued a second safety warning in the space of a week as sea conditions set to worsen over the course of half term (24-30 October).

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI lifeguard on Rescue Water Craft in rough seas

From Wednesday (26 October) though Thursday and into Friday a weather front coming in from the Atlantic looks set to bring with it strong south westerly winds, which coupled with the increased swell will create dangerous sea conditions, hitting the exposed beaches and harbours along south coast the hardest.

Guy Botterill, RNLI Regional Lifeguard Lead says;

‘We’ve just experienced a weekend of very mild weather with a heavy swell and strong winds which created extremely challenging conditions for our lifeguards keeping beach goers safe.

Now, looking ahead to the middle of this week temperatures remain mild and we’re seeing a combination of building swell, further strong south westerly winds and with the addition of spring tides creating really worrying conditions along the coast.

With an increase in the number of people out and about looking to enjoy a final week of water activities over the half term, it’s a perfect storm hitting our region and we’re urging those wanting to use the water to head to one of the 21 lifeguarded beaches across the south west*.

While the beaches along the south coast are likely to be red flagged due to the conditions, heading to the north coast and one of the lifeguarded beaches there will give you the best opportunity to enjoy the sea safely. Check the weather and conditions before you go, most beaches now have webcams so you can check this before you leave the house, if you arrive and are unsure of the conditions and your capabilities, don’t go in, ask the lifeguards for advice.’

Even those not planning on going into the water, should be aware of the conditions. A video taken at Treyarnon last year showed walkers being knocked off their feet by the surging waves (here)

Guy continues;

‘Many of the exposed spots along the south coast will be battered by the big seas including harbour areas like Mullion and Porthleven and we’d encourage people heading there to watch the weather to do so at a safe distance.

Those out walking, whether that’s on the coast path or beach, check your tide times, the tide will be coming in quickly throughout the course of the afternoon and walkers should be aware of the surges of water that can race up the beach and take people unaware. Stand well back and give the sea and swell that extra bit of distance. If you do find yourself unexpectedly in the water, remember to FLOAT.

Most importantly, if you see someone if difficultly, don’t try to rescue them yourself, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

Notes to editors

· Interviews are available on request

· * Many beaches across the south west have finished their lifeguarding service for 2022, but the beaches listed below will have lifeguards on duty daily from 10am – 6pm from Saturday 22 October until Sunday 30 October where lifeguards will hang up their wetsuits for the season at 5pm on the last day due to the change of the clocks.In Cornwall: Fistral, Perranporth, Sennon, Tregonhawke, Praa Sands, Crantock, Towan, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan, Gwithian, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Summerleaze.
In Devon: Bantham, Croyde, Woolacombe
In Jersey: Le Braye

· Link to the footage at Treyarnon can be viewed and downloaded from here

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

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 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.

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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.