October half-term holiday: Seasons change, Safety doesn’t

Heading to the coast this half-term holiday? Please remember that while the seasons change, the need for safety awareness doesn't. Do take extra care so you'll have a break to remember, rather than one to forget.

If you’re planning a trip out, please be COVID-19 safe and comply with local restrictions.

Autumn is a perfect time to explore the beautiful coastal areas around the United Kingdom. The summer crowds have left and the weather is ideal for a walk but safety should always come first to ensure you return home in one piece.

Please be prepared: Make sure you check the weather and tides before heading out, wear appropriate footwear and clothing for your activity, know the sea conditions and stick to coastal paths. Also, carry a mobile phone so that you have a way of making contact in an emergency and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

During the Autumn months, the weather can change quickly. The sun may be shining when you head out but you must always be prepared for a sudden change to cold, wet and windy conditions.

Cliffs can be more unstable than they look, and cliff falls or landslides can happen without warning. Take note and adhere to local warning signs. The cliffs along the UK coastline are continuously eroding, stay away from the edge which could be crumbly or slippery and do not climb cliffs as a short cut to the top. Periods of intense rainfall will often make cliff edges more vulnerable.

Don’t ever be tempted to stand near to the edge to take a “selfie” as it may be the last photo you ever take.

If you take your dog out with you keep it on a lead at the coast especially near cliff edges. If they get stuck on a ledge, in mud or swept out to sea, don’t go after them. Most dogs make it back safely, but you might not.

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes said: 

“Many people will be looking for alternative days out this half term, such as exploring the coast with their families, as other activities they may usually enjoy in the holidays are unable to operate this year. 

“Please stay safe and make sure you make it home safely at the end of the day. As ever, our message is, Keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

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