Visitors urged to stay away from busy South West beaches as temperatures soar

The RNLI has called on beachgoers to follow water safety advice and adhere to social distancing

People heading to the South West are being urged to avoid busy beaches as temperatures soar.

The RNLI has called on beachgoers to follow water safety advice and adhere to social distancing as crowds are expected to flock to beaches across the region.

Over the weekend of Saturday 1 August, the charity carried out 30 rescues in one day on just one beach in Cornwall.

The incidents mainly involved bathers and body boarders caught in rip currents, going out of their depth and being cut off by the incoming tide.

It is hot and sunny weekends like this when we do unfortunately see tragedy.

Steve Instance, water safety lead in the South West for the RNLI

Steve Instance, water safety lead in the South West for the RNLI said, "Of course we have got beautiful weather this weekend and people will want to be down at the beach.

"But it is hot and sunny weekends like this when we do unfortunately see tragedy.

"So, we are urging people if you're going to a beach, please choose a lifeguarded beach and look out for the red and yellow flags."

Large tides are expected across Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th meaning people could easily get cut off by the tides.

Large tides are also expected across Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th meaning people could easily get cut off by the tides.

This will also increase the amount of water moving around and raise the risk of stronger rip currents.

Steve Instance, water safety lead in the South West for the RNLI, said: "Rip current rescues are the most common incident the lifeguards deal with on our beaches, the strong currents can quickly sweep bathers out of their depth, which is when panic sets in."

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following RNLI key safety advice:

  • Don’t try to swim against it, you will quickly get exhausted.

  • If you can stand, wade don’t swim.

  • If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore

  • If you can’t swim – FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing

  • Always raise your hand and shout for help.

  • If you see anyone else in trouble alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Anyone who sees a person in trouble should alert lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.