April showers: Safety warning from HM Coastguard
April Showers. That’s the saying and, so far this month, that’s also the fact as the country experiences changeable weather; sunny in the morning, hailing by lunchtime and blowing a gale by the evening.
So we all need to be extra careful if we’re planning a trip to explore the coastal areas around the UK and get outside into our picturesque countryside.
So far in 2022, HM Coastguard has been called out to a number of incidents involving walkers who have found themselves in difficulty at the coast. In particular, there has been concern over the number of pet owners attempting to rescue their animal and people cut off by the tide.
- Consider if it is safe to go out at all.
- Make sure you check the weather and tides if you decide it is safe to head out, wear appropriate footwear and clothing for your activity, know the sea conditions and stick to coastal paths.
- 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. People often put themselves in danger in a rescue attempt.
- 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.
|Take your eye off the water for just a moment and you can quickly find the tide closing in around you, like this walker in Blackpool|
Picture: LB Photography
“There are fewer more beautiful spots than the cliff walks along our coasts, but those walks can quickly turn dangerous if you aren’t aware of the risks.
“We have been called out quite a few times already this year – to either people cut off by the tide or worried about their dog having gone over the cliff.
“Please be careful and follow our safety messages. Check tide times and keep your pet on a lead near cliffs.”
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