HM Coastguard Safety Tips for Cornwall Beaches


HM Coastguard reminds the public of its top safety tips to avoid ruining the last days of summer, with many of us having to take advantage of the bank holiday weekend on the coast.

But before you go, remember the best ways to stay safe while enjoying the UK coastline. It can be breathtaking one moment and scary the next.

Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, said: “Regardless of your knowledge of the coast or your experience in your chosen sport, the sea can always surprise you, the cliffs can be dangerous and even a lack of momentary concentration. can get you in trouble.

“We will always respond to those in need, but remember that the choices you make can put you and the people you care about at risk.

“Enjoy the last days of summer, but stay safe and call 999 if you need us.”

Below are 15 tips that HM Coastguard have suggested to avoid a bank holiday weekend from hell.

Be sure to check the weather and tides before you go, wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Always take a phone or another way to call for help.

If you are going to swim, go to a supervised beach.

The RNLI recommends following five simple steps if you are struggling in the water:

• Fight your instinct to struggle

• Lean back extending your arms and legs

• Gently move your arms and legs to float if you need to

• Float until you have control over your breathing

• Only then call 999, call for help or swim to safety.

  • 3 – Leave inflatable boats and toys at home or take them to the pool

Inflatable boats and toys can easily be blown out to sea, especially in land winds – when the wind blows from land to sea.

The RNLI’s advice is to leave them at home – they are safer in swimming pools.

If this happens, stay with the inflatable, call for help, and wave your arms.

Make sure someone on shore is watching.

  • 4 – Keep an eye on your children

Make sure your children are well supervised at the coast.

Agree on a recognizable meeting point in case people get confused.

You may want to take advantage of local bracelet programs for young children.

  • 5 – Don’t encourage opt-out or bow to peer pressure

There’s a reason this is called “deactivation”.

Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous.

You don’t know what’s underwater until you’re injured, or worse.

Cold water shock can set in and currents can carry people away.

Don’t bow to peer pressure or set a dangerous example for young children.

  • 6 – Swim parallel to the beach and beware of the currents

Swim at a supervised beach if you can and stay within your depth.

Swim parallel to the shore.

If you are caught in a strong current or rip current, try to stay as calm as possible, raise your hand and call for help.

Hang on to your surfboard or body board if you have one.

If you can’t get help, try swimming parallel to the beach until you’re out of danger, then swim to shore.

If you can stand, wade instead of swim.

  • 7 – Follow our safety advice on coastal paths

Remember to wear sturdy shoes or boots and check the weather forecast and tide times before setting out.

Take a cell phone and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be home.

Do not attempt to climb or descend cliffs unless properly equipped and trained to do so.

Don’t try to climb the cliffs as a shortcut to the top.

  • 8 – Watch out for cliff falls

You should not stand less than cliff height when at the bottom of a cliff.

This means that if the cliff is 25 meters high, do not approach within 25 meters of it.

The cliffs along the UK coast are continually eroding, with pieces falling from them that can be just a few small boulders or as big as a car.

It is impossible to predict when the next piece will fall or how big it will be.

Do not take unnecessary risks on the edges of the cliffs or at the foot of the cliffs.

  • 9 – Wear a personal flotation device if you must

Life jackets are appropriate for those on a sailing yacht or motor cruiser or when going ashore in a yacht tender.

Buoyancy aids are suitable where there is a risk of getting wet; kayakers, canoeists, rowers, dinghy sailors, personal watercraft operators and others should wear buoyancy aids as recommended by the national governing body for their sport.

All buoyancy aids and life jackets should be serviced regularly.

Check with an expert, instructor, or the manufacturer if you’re not sure what’s right for you.

  • 10 – Keep your dog on a leash and entrust animal rescues to experts

Dog walkers should stay away from cliff edges, which can be crumbly or slippery when wet.

Keep your dog on a leash near the cliffs.

If an animal is swept out to sea, do not try to save it yourself.

You may have difficulty. Many dogs come ashore alive, but some owners don’t.

As always, call 999 and ask for the coast guard.

  • 11 – Stay calm if you get stuck in the mud

Stay calm, try to distribute your weight as much as possible and avoid moving.

Call 999 and ask for the coast guard.

Anyone trapped should also discourage other well-meaning members of the public from attempting to rescue them, as without the proper equipment they could also become trapped.

  • 12 – Surf on supervised beaches and with instructors if necessary

If possible, surf on a supervised beach and follow the advice of lifeguards.

If you are a beginner, never hire a surfboard without receiving instruction or a lesson from a British Surfing Association or International Surfing Association approved school or a qualified instructor. Surf between black and white flags.

Always wear a leash to avoid losing your surfboard (or body board).

For you, your board is a safety device, for other water users it is a deadly weapon.

If you run into trouble, never give up on your board – it will keep you afloat. Wave your hand and call for help.

Always surf with others, don’t surf between red and yellow flags and never bump into another surfer.

  • 13 – Do not mix alcohol and sea

The sea and alcohol don’t mix. We advise against setting sail if you have been drinking or are drinking alcohol.

If you’ve been drinking, your judgment will be impaired and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes that could be life-threatening at sea.

Alcohol is a contributing factor to a significant number of coastal drownings each year.

  • 14 – Plan ahead for paddleboarding

If you paddleboard, cold water shock does not discriminate – it can be dangerous for experienced paddleboarders and beginners alike.

Ideally wear a wetsuit, flotation device and leash so you can stay with your board. Limit yourself to one person per board.

We recommend checking the tides and conditions beforehand, as well as having someone with you in case you need help.

But if you’re going alone, tell someone where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and always carry a charged cell phone in a waterproof bag so you can always make contact.

  • 15 – Call 999 and ask for the coastguard in case of emergency

Perhaps the most important tip of all – if you find yourself in an emergency or spot someone else in trouble on the shore or in the water, call 999 and ask for the lifeguards. ribs.

Don’t assume someone else made the call.


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