RNLI issues warning to beach-goers in the South West as warm weather hits
The RNLI is urghing beach-goers across the South West to take care as they enjoy the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
The unseasonably warm weather has seen many people heading out to enjoy the West Country's coasts - but lifeguards are currently off-duty.
"This week we've got the much warmer air temperature, but at this time of year we've got to remember the sea temperature is just about at its coldest that it's going to be.
"On top of that, we've got some huge spring tides this week and some quite big surf conditions as well.
"So this week, ahead of the lifeguard season, we're asking people to take care and really look after each other."
RNLI lifeguards will however be returning to work from Friday 2 April for the Easter holidays - but only at some locations.
They will be on hand to protect swimmers at 23 beaches across the region with some beaches being covered for the first time, such as Exmouth in Devon and Weymouth in Dorset.
The full list of beaches:
Cornwall – Sennen, Porthmeor, Gwithian, Hayle, Praa Sands, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Fistral, Towan, Watergate, Mawgan Porth, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Summerleaze, Tregonhawk
Devon – Croyde, Woolacombe, Bantham, Exmouth (covered for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and weekends until 29 May)
Dorset – Weymouth
Channel Islands - Le Braye
Lifeguards will continue to cover most of these beaches until 18 April. However, lifeguards will only be present at Exmouth on the Easter Bank Holiday and subsequent weekends, until 29 May.
This marks the beginning of what is expected to be a busy season for beaches across the West Country. The RNLI and partners’ newest recruits began training earlier this week on Porthminister Beach.
Ollie Shilston, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor, said: ‘’We’re expecting a really busy year, we’re really lucky that we’ve got really experienced lifeguards coming back to the service this year and they’re going to be instrumental in us delivering a full service.”
The number of beaches will increase through the season until the peak school summer holidays when 87 beaches across the region will be covered. But lifeguards will not be at every beach and people are encouraged to swim at those where they are present.