The RNLI is urging beach-goers across the North West to take care as they enjoy the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the Easter weekend.
Increasing numbers of people have been visiting beauty spots following the relaxation in lockdown travel and the warmer weather.
But the charity has warned that sea temperatures remain dangerously cold at this time of year.
Last year, RNLI lifeguards in the region helped more people than anywhere else in the UK - 9,624 in 846 incidents.
people were helped by RNLI lifeguards in the region in 846 incidents.
They say many of those who were rescued were simply out enjoying a walk and had unexpectedly got into trouble.
The charity is now urging anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice along with the government’s advice on travel and social distancing.
Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead said: "Although RNLI lifeguards are already offering a safety patrol on some of the North West’s most popular beaches, they can’t be everywhere, so people need to think about their own safety and what they would do in an emergency.
"Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but it is important to remember it can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, particularly during spring and early summer when air temperatures may be warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock.
"We are reminding anyone planning to enter the water to take extra care and avoid unnecessary risks as early season conditions are more challenging."
TOP SAFETY TIPS:
Visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags - we have a number of patrolled beaches around the coast from the Easter holidays – find your nearest here.
Wherever you are, check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks
If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
Take care if walking or running near cliffs – know your route and keep dogs on a lead
Carry a fully charged phone
In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Throughout the Easter break RNLI lifeguards will patrol:
Harrison Drive (which includes part of Leasowe Bay)
New Brighton Perch Rock
The RNLI already provides at 365 days a year service at Crosby.