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50 surfers spotted at Polzeath amid lockdown

50 surfers spotted at Polzeath amid lockdown

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:15am 23rd April 2020.

Around 50 surfers have been spotted in the sea on the north coast of Cornwall despite the lockdown advice to stay at home.

People were seen enjoying the water during mutual aid patrols, carried out by coastguard crews on behalf of police, at Polzeath beach on Wednesday afternoon.

It comes after the RNLI, Surfing England and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency all issued advice to stay out of the sea to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Beaches do not currently have any lifeguard cover, because of the coronavirus pandemic, and there are concerns that rescue crews could also be put at risk if anyone were to get into trouble in the water.

"We appreciate that for some people their exercise be it surfing or swimming might ordinarily involve using the coast and its resources. But we would ask people to think seriously about the unintended consequences of what could happen if something went wrong while they were in the sea or at the coast.

"As we know, all too well, the sea can be a dangerous place for even the most experienced swimmer or surfer. Our advice is to give the coast a miss just now - it will still be there when the crisis is over and things start to return to normal.

"If you get into trouble and have to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, you’re then putting frontline emergency responders and their families at risk of coronavirus along with avoidable pressure on the NHS.

"Along with HM Coastguard's advice the RNLI has also stated that the public should not take part in any water based activity on or in the sea, to reduce the risk to the charity’s volunteer crews. It has also paused the roll-out of lifeguard patrols onto all of our beaches."

Polzeath Coastguard

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