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RNLI renew essential safety warnings at Crantock beach

Lifeguards News Release

The recent long spell of dry weather combined with the surf forecast for the weekend (beginning Friday 16 June), is causing major concern for RNLI lifeguards at Crantock beach who predict the returning surf, which will surge higher up the beach, is likely to recut the beaches sheer sand cliffs.

Unstable dunes at Crantock Beach, Newquay

RNLI/Lewis Timson

Unstable dunes at Crantock Beach, Newquay

The incredibly heavy, and unstable sand is susceptible to collapse at any time, with the risk of trapping people underneath.

Lewis Timson, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Newquay said: ‘Sand is extremely heavy, and in the event of the dune collapsing, there is an increased danger of becoming buried with potentially life-threatening consequences.

'Following another sand dune section collapsing at the beach yesterday (14 June) we are renewing the call for the public to keep at least 50m (164ft) away from the base of the sand dunes. If you witness a collapse call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and fire service, do not put yourself in danger and attempt to rescue.’

Rescuing someone trapped under sand requires a special technique that involves multiple people forming a human chain to move the heavy sand away from the casualty as they are freed to prevent it re-collapsing.

Lewis said: ‘Despite the important, multi-agency training we have recently undertaken to rescue someone trapped under sand, we hope we do not face any incidents of this nature. Our focus is on ensuring people keep away from the sand dunes at Crantock. With the dry weather and surf of three to four foot expected; the nature of the sand dune system is predicted to shift and remain unstable for the foreseeable future and risks collapse at any time.

‘The RNLI lifeguards at Crantock beach have been working extremely hard to protect the public from the imposing dangers of the sand cliff. With the change in direction of the river at Crantock which has increased the risk of rip currents in the water, I advise anyone visiting the beach to keep well clear from the dune system, swim between the red and yellow flags and please speak to our lifeguards if you have any concerns or questions.’

RNLI lifeguards are on patrol daily at the beach from 10am to 6pm and are advising people to keep well clear from the base of the dunes.

Notes to editors

· Photo of the unstable sand dune system at Crantock beach. (Credit: Lewis Timson, RNLI)

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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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