HM Coastguard and the RNLI warn people to consider coastal dangers ahead of half-term break

As schools in England and Wales prepare for the half-term break, HM Coastguard and the RNLI are reminding everyone to stay safe if they are heading to the coast as the autumn sets in.

Autumn is a perfect time to explore the coastal areas around the UK, the summer crowds have gone and the weather is ideal for a walk. However, the sunshine can quickly vanish making the temperature much colder and the lifeguards who were present in peak season are no longer on most beaches.

It is vital at this time of year to be prepared before you head to the coast. 

  • 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. 
  • 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 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. 
  • If you do fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT to Live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back and relax, extending your arms and legs

Please take note of safety advice and don’t take risks. If you see anybody in trouble, don’t enter the water yourself to try and rescue them, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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