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RNLI urge public to stay safe ahead of Storm Agnes

Lifeboats News Release

As the UK and Ireland braces for the first named storm of the season, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is asking those visiting the coast to be aware of the dangers.

A D class lifeboat crashes through stormy waves with four RNLI crew members on board.

RNLI/Martin Fish

Bridlington D-class inshore lifeboat Ernie Wellings D-852 at sea during a training exercise in roughs seas and large waves.

Yellow weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office and Met Éireann with winds forecast to reach 80mph and heavy rain expected from midday Wednesday until early Thursday morning.

Storm Agnes poses a safety risk to those visiting the coast and the lifesaving charity is urging the public to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The most powerful winds are expected to hit the Irish Sea coasts but strong winds will still affect western regions of the UK and Ireland. Heavy rainfall is also forecast for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

RNLI Water Safety Partner, Sam Hughes, said: ‘The forecasted strong winds along with heavy rain are likely to cause dangerous conditions for those visiting the coast around the UK and Ireland.

‘The RNLI advises staying a safe distance away from the water and cliff edges as the conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.

‘If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – you may end up in difficulty too.’

The RNLI advice is:

  • Stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges

  • Check the weather forecast and tide times before you go

  • Take a phone with you

  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard

Notes to editors

  • Downloadable sound bite from Water Safety Manager Ross Macleod here.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please phone Charlotte Cranny-Evans, RNLI National Media Officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 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.