1. ITV Report

New warnings over the dangers of the sea in North Somerset

Coastguards and RNLI show rescue skills in Weston-super-Mare Photo: ITV News West Country

New warnings over the dangers of the sea have been made today as the number of visitors to our coastline reaches its peak. The RNLI have been out in force in Weston-super-Mare to raise the public's awareness of the risks of entering the water. The casualties both in the sea and on the rocks were there for purely training purposes today but with around 50 emergencies a year Weston's RNLI know this is vital preparation for the real thing.

The resort's high tidal range and notorious mudflats attract the unsuspecting who were given this stark warning by one ex-crew man who's seen decades of danger.

"No-one should go out on that mud. It's fine for a lot of it and you just hit that one little soft spot and you can be up to your knees and stuck. Fortunately a lot of them come back but it's just the odd one like we had last Monday which didn't come back and had to be rescued. It's very very dangerous out there."

– Richard Splinder, Weston-super-Mare RNLI

Something most local people do know which is why supporting the RNLI in saving those who don't is so strong here.

It's absolutely fantastic. They're just such an asset to the town. The beaches get absolutely packed in the summer and the sea can be so dangerous.

– Weston-super-Mare resident
RNLI volunteers are showing off their skills in Weston-super-Mare Credit: ITV News West Country

These crews are operating without a permanent home after the pier they launched from for more than 130 years was ruled too dangerous.

"We've been asked to raise £300,000 towards the cost of a new station and the public have been absolutely fantastic. Everybody's chipped in."

– Peter Elmont, Chairman of Fundraising, Weston-super-Mare RNLI

Today was a chance to celebrate that support with craft old and new putting on a show. The crew know the next time they take to the water it won't be for a display but a matter of life or death.