Although this week’s earlier storm weather warnings have been downgraded, HM Coastguard’s Tago Mcleod who is based at Falmouth in Cornwall says people should not relax and stay on safety alert while on the coast.
‘The winds are still going to be strong and the mix of wind, bigger than usual tidal swells and large, unpredictable waves can very easily catch people out. It’s human nature to relax a little more when storm warnings have been downgraded but the real risks still remain. It’s why we’re asking everyone to take extra care and keep well away from breaking waves, piers and jetties and keep well back from cliff edges this weekend,’ he said.
Wind and wave safety – top 5 safety tips
Selfies; It’s not worth risking your life for ‘that selfie’. Keep off groynes, piers, jetties and harbour walls. Big waves can knock you over in a flash. If you can feel the spray, you’re too close.
Wave dodging; playing ‘dares’ with waves is dangerous in the best of weathers. Rocks and walls can be slippery, often there’s nothing to grab hold of if you’re caught off balance and rogue waves and strong currents can sweep you out to sea in seconds.
Doggie dont’s; do keep your canine friends close and on leads if you’re out on the cliffs or the coast. You never know when an ‘interesting’ smell or meeting another dog can lead to trouble. If your dog gets stuck or trapped, call the coastguard for help, we have teams out and about at all times, trained for fast response.
Cliff crises; avoid a crisis on the cliffs by staying well away from the edges, especially in windy conditions when you and children are at risk of being caught off balance. During and after bad weather, cliff faces are especially unstable and landslides and rock falls are common.
Keep in touch; keep a note of tide times so you don’t get trapped and take a fully charged mobile (ideally with a location or ‘find me’ app) so you can call for help if things go wrong. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
If you or anyone is in trouble on the coast, don’t delay calling for help. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard.