Coastguard issue safety warning after nine water deaths in UK

060421-bournemouth beach safety sign
Beach safety sign at Bournemouth Credit: ITV Meridian

A new warning has been issued by the Marine and Coastguard Agency after nine people have died in the past 10 days on beaches and coast in the UK.

It comes as record numbers of holiday-makers are visiting the seaside, due to an uptake in staycations during the pandemic.

The advice, for swimmers to think twice, also applies to those in inland water.

Director of HM Coastguard, Claire Hughes, says people need to be careful when near the sea, regardless of whether they are local or not.

She says: "Think twice about what you’re doing at the coast that might put you, your family and friends and even those who come to rescue you in danger.

"Watch out for each other and those you love. Get home safe."

How can I keep myself safe when at the coast?

  • Check weather conditions;

  • Check tide times before going out;

  • Remember the sea has hidden depths and rip currents that can't easily be seen;

  • Do not use inflatables in the sea;

  • Make sure you have a fully charged phone with you in case you need to call for help.

The public is also being reminded to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if ever they need help when on the beach, in the sea or around the coast.