Safety Spotlight - Stormy weather safety tips

Summer or winter, when storms, high winds and bad weather are forecast, extra care is needed around our coasts.  Whatever the weather or season our advice is the same, we want you and your loved ones to avoid any safety ‘slip-ups’.

Caught in a storm? Don't chance it. Poor weather brings extra challenges for anyone planning to ‘brrrrrave’ the coastal gales, especially those out and about on clifftops and beaches.

Large unpredictable waves pose a special risk

"No matter how dramatic the picture, no selfie is worth risking your life for."

Here's our top 7 safety tips for stormy weather:

  • 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.
  • Cliffs can be very dangerous and prone to rockslides and falls at any time, especially after prolonged periods of wet weather. Large rocks and boulders can come crashing down with little or no notice
  • Make sure that you are properly equipped. In particular remember to wear sturdy shoes or boots and check the weather forecast and tidal times before you set out. Carry a mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be home
  • 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.

  • 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. 
  • If you have equipment such as kayaks and dinghies around the coast, remove them to a place of safety if possible or secure them and ensure they are labelled with your contact details so we can trace you. The same goes for ensuring your tents and belongings are secured if you're camping or holidaying at the coast. 

The below was posted in February 2021.

The Met Office has issued warnings of gales, easterly winds, snow and ice, with large unpredictable waves posing a special risk.

Rob Priestley, HM Coastguard Duty Controller said: “If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast and be in a position to take your exercise there in line with local COVID-19 restrictions, we’d urge everyone to take extra care this weekend. 

"Dress up warmly, take a fully charged mobile phone and stay well back from cliffs and strong waves which can be unpredictable and may well include rocks and debris."

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.

Cliffs can be very dangerous and prone to rockslides and falls at any time



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