Today, the HM Coastguard and RNLI launch a new beach safety guide to help people stay safe and alert with visiting the coast this summer
Yesterday we saw temperatures soar and many people heading to the UK’s coastline. However, with the pandemic a prevalent feature in everyday life at the moment, there is concern over the safety of people taking trips to the beach or taking part in water-based activities.
Recently the RNLI urged people to take extra care over the bank holidays, as lifeguards will not be present on beaches. They also warned that although the lifeboat crews are still fully operational, they might not be able to reach you as quickly as a lifeguard.
This news comes after Devon and Cornwall’s authorities have joined forces to ask people to stay away as part of a #comebacklater campaign.
RNLI’s Head of Water Safety said, “It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands that the beach can be a dangerous environment and you must take more responsibility for you and your family this summer. No one ever goes to the coast to be rescued yet RNLI lifeguards rescue 1000’s each year.”
Last year, the RNLI helped around 29,000 people on UK beaches and saved 154 lives. They also assist in reuniting lost children and aided 346 people in incidents that involved inflatables.
This recent campaign comes as people start to head to the coast as daily exercise means you can travel as far as you like. With kids off school and some people not working, the good weather means a day at the beach is appealing after being stuck inside for so long.
Both organisations are urging parents to be ‘beach smart’ this summer as the usual lifeguard services may still not be at full capacity in the next few months. They are also advising people not to use inflatables at all. Plus, they have also set out a list of things to consider if you’re taking a trip to the coastline, which can be found on their website.
‘We know from sad experience that whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability or experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does.”
“Now, more than ever, we need people to respect the sea and the coast.”
She also added that the virus has not gone away and that people need to take ‘extra care’ in these extraordinary times.
Locals describe ‘carnage’ at beach spots
Despite the warnings about visiting beauty spots and beaches, people flocked to these spots to enjoy yesterday’s good weather. Braunton and Ilfracombe Police described the area as ‘gridlocked.’ They tweeted that the roads were jam-packed and that car parks were closed for new traffic.
It was reported in the North Devon Gazette that Devon County Council issued over 70 Penalty Charges Notices due to illegally parked cars in Woolacombe. People left their cars on the road as car parks were shut, and a spokesperson for Woolacombe Tourist Information said they were disappointed with the influx.
This comes after the hottest day of the year has been expected this week.