Safety reminder issued from UK Coastguard when playing Pokémon Go

While the “Pokémon Go” craze continues to capture the interest of people all over the world, UK Coastguard has put out another safety reminder after three girls ignored a red flag beach warning at Hastings Pier last night and went into the water chasing Pokémon.

Sussex Police requested UK Coastguard assistance after they received a report from a member of the public that three girls were standing in the sea near Hastings Pier at around 9.23pm Wednesday 27 July 2016. The red flag was out at Hastings Pier last night warning beach goers that the sea was rough and the there was a real safety concern for the girls as they were reported to be fully clothed in the water.

Hastings Coastguard Rescue Team and the Hastings RNLI inshore lifeboat were sent to the scene, along with Sussex Police.  Police officers were able to get the girls out of the water minutes before the UK Coastguard and RNLI arrived.  It was established that the girls were looking for Pokémon and they were advised not to into the water again. 
David Jones, Duty Controller for the UK Coastguard said:  ‘We have been made aware of a few incidents over the past few weeks involving PokémonGO and we want to reiterate the safety message we put out last week.

‘We don’t want to stop Pokémon hunters from having fun, but please be aware of your surroundings and be extra careful if you’re playing near water or the coast.  Catching a pocket fictional creature is not worth losing your life over.

‘Remember to tell someone where you are going and what time you’ll be home.  Try and stay between the red and yellow flags on the beach – a lifeguarded beach means that help would be there straight away if you got into difficulties.    A red flagged beach indicates the sea is rough and dangerous, even for the best swimmers, so we would never advise anyone to go in the sea if they see a red flag on the beach.  Always consider whether you could be cut off by the incoming tide, and above all do not take unnecessary risks.  If you get into trouble don’t use your phone to catch a Pokémon use it to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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