Think twice before swimming in the sea

Don’t swim in the sea if there are no lifeguards on duty is the warning from HM Coastguard following updated guidance for England from the Government.

It follows a number of serious incidents along the south and west coast including some where people have died.

Now HM Coastguard is urging everyone to only swim in the sea if a lifeguard is on duty in line with the guidance from the Government about visiting the English coast.

Most beaches are not currently lifeguarded and coastal risks are also increased as local authorities and land owners may not have had the opportunity to make their usual safety provisions.

Now, more than ever, people need to take personal responsibility for keeping themselves safe at the beach.

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes said: “The Government guidance is clear – if you intend to swim when visiting the coast you should only do so at beaches where there is a lifeguard on duty.

“Help us to help you by following Government guidance and respecting the sea. It doesn’t matter how local or experienced you are, we know just from these last few days that – sadly – the sea can catch anybody out and be unmerciful when it does.”

You can also help to keep your family and yourself safe on lifeguarded beaches by checking tide times, leaving inflatables at home, checking your kit before you go out on the water and making sure you have means of calling for help if needed. If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Government guidance for England states that you can go to the beach as long as you are alone, with your household, or with no more than five other people from outside your household and staying two metres apart at all times.