Woolacombe beach huts washed away by Storm Ellen rough seas

Video footage and pictures have emerged which show the moment tides wreaked havoc on a North Devon beach.

The footage above, filmed by Joe Saddington, shows beach huts at Woolacombe being washed into the sea while onlookers watch in disbelief.

They were a victim of Storm Ellen, which has brought big waves, strong winds and spring tides to the West Country - prompting an urgent safety warning by the RNLI.

The damaged beach huts in the dark. Credit: Richard Walden

Elsewhere in the region on 20 August, a man died following an incident in the water at Church Cove, Cornwall, while vehicles - including a top-of-the-range Range Rover - were caught out by the tide at Polzeath.

The Met Office says many coastal areas in the South West are likely to experience stormy weather this weekend, with some places expected to see winds of up 50mph.

The RNLI has urged people to take extra care and avoid beaches that are not lifeguarded.

“With changeover days for holidaymakers on Fridays and Saturdays, those arriving at the area may not be up to date with local news and forecasts so could be caught unaware of the conditions,” he added.

“RNLI lifeguards are there to offer advice so if you are unsure about anything, make sure you ask a lifeguard. 

“They will be able to provide information on tide times and guide you to the safest area to swim which will be between the red and yellow flags. 

“Anyone surfing should know their limits and always stay within the black and white flagged area.”

Read more: