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Storm selfie warning as gales lash Cornwall

Storm selfie warning as gales lash Cornwall

Published by Emma Carton at 7:31am 4th October 2019. (Updated at 9:06am 4th October 2019)

It looks like the worst of ex-Hurricane Lorenzo is set to miss Cornwall.

The Met Office had warned that gales of up to 65mph were set to batter the coast on Friday.

The yellow weather warning has now been lifted but strong winds are still on the cards.

The RNLI is urging people to stay well away from the edges of cliffs and harbour walls, because of the risk of 'rogue waves'.

RNLI Community Safety Manager for the south-west, Steve Instance, is urging people to take extra care.

'We're expecting more strong winds to hit the south-west throughout Friday, bringing with it rough sea conditions.  

"We are fortunate that we no longer have the large tides which brought with them all the flooding issues last week, but there will still be large surges associated with the big swell.

"We would advise people to stay out of the water. The four beaches across the south-west that have a lifeguard service on Friday are likely to be showing the red flag and these conditions will extend to almost all beaches along both north and south coasts.  

"Strong winds and heavy rain will make the cliff paths treacherous and extra care should be taken when coastal walking. 

"Those heading to the coast to take photographs of the conditions should make sure that they don't get too close".

RNLI Community Safety Manager, Steve Instance

During similar conditions last Friday, RNLI lifeguards rescued four surfers from the water at St Agnes beach in Cornwall. 

On-duty lifeguards made the decision to fly the red flag due to the large surf and strong onshore winds making conditions difficult as the tide came in.

Around an hour later the tide had covered the beach at St Agnes and the large surf was hitting the buildings at the top of the beach, making conditions very dangerous. 

RNLI lifeguard Dulcie Havers alerted her colleagues to a lady in the water in obvious difficulty. 

RNLI lifeguards Moss Thomas and Matt Trewhella entered the water using rescue tubes.

Moss reached her first and secured her with the rescue tube, bringing her back to safety. 

Immediately afterwards, another surfer was also having difficulty returning to shore Moss swam back out to help him to safety. 

Noticing that the other two surfers in the water looking to be in distress, Dulcie did a PA announcement asking the surfers to wave if they needed assistance returning to shore. Both males frantically began to wave. 

Video footage shows lifeguards swimming out through the large and confused breaking waves with rescue tubes to the surfers and helping them back to shore.

"The rescue was extremely difficult. The currents were very strong and the water was pushing towards a spring high tide. 

"We were unable to take rescue boards due to the water crashing against the slipway it was safer to take rescue tubes as they are less risk of injury and the best way to return the surfers to shore safely. 

"Lifeguard patrols have now finished on St Agnes beach for the season, so I am grateful we were there to help".

RNLI lifeguard, Matt Trewhella

What beaches have lifeguard cover in Cornwall?

The beaches that have lifeguard cover on weekends and during the school half term (Saturday 19 October until Sunday 27 October) are:

Praa Sands, Gwithian, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Towan, Watergate, Mawgan Porth, Harlyn, Constantine, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze in Cornwall, plus Woolacombe and Bantham in Devon  

Fistral, Porthmeor and Sennen in Cornwall and Croyde in North Devon will have cover every day in October right up until the end of October half term (Sunday 27th October).

What is the full forecast?

The yellow weather warning for gales in Cornwall has now been lifted, but strong winds are still being forecast.

Friday: "Windy, with gales around the coasts. A bright start for some, but clouding over through the day with showers likely at times and overcast skies".

Friday night: "Remaining cloudy through the evening, with a few fog patches in places. There will be some outbreaks of rain and drizzle, especially on the moors".

Saturday: "A mainly cloudy start with some light rain in places. A few bright spells are possible during the day, but heavy rain will arrive later in the evening".

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday: "Heavy showers at times on Sunday, but more persistent cloud and rain on Monday. Further heavy showers on Tuesday. Windy, especially on Monday and Tuesday".

Met Office

You can check the full forecast for the south-west here or watch what the weather has in store for the next few days...

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