THE RNLI is issuing important safety advice, urging the public to check local tide times as many are expected to make the most of the warm weather this weekend.
With sunny weather and unusual high spring tides forecast across the region, a pleasant coastal walk could easily turn into an emergency situation if people are not prepared. The warning comes after seven people were rescued by Horton and Port Eynon lifeboat crew yesterday afternoon (Thursday) after the group miscalculated the tide times and found themselves cut off at Worm Head, Rhossili.
September has always been a popular time for coastal walking, however, with higher than normal spring tides forecast this weekend, areas affected by tidal cut off may be cut off faster than normal, and other areas not normally known for tidal cut off may see incidents in the coming days. Anyone heading to the coast is reminded of the importance of checking the tide times and ensuring they have enough time to return if they decide to venture further along the beach.
This will be the last weekend that the charity’s lifeguards will be patrolling a number of beaches in 2020 as they prepare to finish their seasonal safety cover this Sunday. If possible, please visit a lifeguarded beach and ask for safety advice at the start of your day. RNLI lifeguards patrol between the hours of 10 am – 6 pm. If you see anyone in trouble either tell a lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, never attempt the rescue yourself.
Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead warns:
‘We have beautiful stretches of coastline all across the region, but we’re asking people to be prepared and help keep themselves safe by checking local tide times this weekend.
‘Last year, RNLI lifeguards across Wales and the North West of England responded to 952 incidents of people cut off by the tide. It is also a common cause of incidents that is responded to by volunteer lifeboat crews across the country. It’s hard to imagine how walking can turn out to be such a dangerous activity, this is why it’s important to always check the tide times at the start of your day, keep an eye out for the incoming tide and leave enough time to return safely. It’s also vital to always carry a means of calling for help. If in doubt seek local advice.’