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Covid-19: Safety advice for anyone visiting the coast in Cornwall

Covid-19: Safety advice for anyone visiting the coast in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:36am 13th May 2020. (Updated at 9:51am 13th May 2020)

Safety advice is going out to anyone in Cornwall who is planning on visiting the beach or coast.

Some of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being eased as of Wednesday.

The new government guidance says that people can take unlimited outdoor exercise, travel to the coast and take day trips.

People are also now allowed use the water, for activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling, provided they stick to the two-metre social distancing rules.

But the main government message is still to stay at home as much as possible.

The RNLI is warning those who do decide to head to the coast that at present there are no lifeguards on Cornwall's beaches.

Although the volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, the charity says it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.

"This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard.

"In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.

"The RNLI normally patrols over 240 beaches around the coast, however, rollout of the normal seasonal lifeguard service was paused at the end of March due to the measures put in place by the UK Government to control the spread of Coronavirus."

RNLI spokesperson

The charity is currently working with local authorities and beach owners in the hope that it can provide a lifeguard service on around 30% of the beaches the charity usually covers this summer.

"Re-establishing this infrastructure and distributing equipment to beaches will take time.

"We must also make sure that conditions are safe for our lifeguards to provide an effective service โ€“ our priority remains to be the safety of our people and the public."

RNLI spokesperson

We would urge anyone planning a visit to the coast to follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations
  • Have a plan - check the weather forecast and tide times
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
  • If boating, ensure your equipment is functioning and maintained
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

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