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People urged to 'think carefully' before going surfing in Cornwall

People urged to 'think carefully' before going surfing in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:55pm 13th May 2020.

New guidance has been issued for people who decide to go surfing in Cornwall, as some lockdown measures are eased.

Under the new government guidelines, people can now use the water for activities provided they follow the social distancing rules.

We are also allowed to drive to the coast or beach for our unlimited daily exercise.

Although surfing is now permitted in the Duchy, a warning is going out that there is currently no RNLI lifeguard cover.

Beach-goers are being urged to consider this before heading to the coast and to take measures to help keep themselves safe.

Surfing England, the national governing body for surfing, has also published the below guidance for surfers, urging them to stay apart and stay within their limits.

Following new Government Guidelines issued on 11/05/20, if you decide to go Surfing in England from 13/05/20, our advice is as follows:

  • MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES – Stay 2 meters (6 ft) away from others in and out of the water.
  • SURF WITHIN YOUR LIMITS – If in doubt, don’t paddle out. There are currently no RNLI Lifeguards in Operation on Beaches in England. If you do see someone in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
  • RESPECT LOCAL COMMUNITIES – Consider the distance you travel to surf & the emergency services/hospital resources in that area. Many local facilities are currently closed.
  • RESPECT OTHER SURFERS – Avoid crowding beaches and busy peaks.
  • PROMOTE GOOD SURF ETIQUETTE – Don’t snake or drop in, smile, be kind & surf safe.

Further Guidance is as follows:

General Advice

  • Follow the Government Guidance, maintain social distancing measures and keep 2 meters (6 ft) apart.
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone you are in contact with is showing symptoms.
  • If you or anyone in your household is in a high risk group the advice on shielding remains, the new activities allowed under lock down, even with precautionary measures, still carry a risk of transmission.
  • Maintain good hygiene, avoid touching your face, carry hand sanitiser and wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

Surf Specific Hygiene

  • Do not share wetsuits, rash vests, sun cream, drinks, wax, etc and give your wetsuit a proper wash inline with manufacturer’s instructions post surf.
  • Get changed outside or at home.
  • Do not travel with others outside your household.
  • Avoid touching surfaces outside your home as much as possible & ensure when you do return home you wash thoroughly.

A note for beginners:

Whilst RNLI Lifeguards are not currently in operation on beaches in England and Surf Schools are not yet back in operation, we do not recommend beginners use this opportunity to get in the water.

For 2020, RNLI Lifeguards will be in reduced operational levels, on just 70 beaches in the UK and we do not currently know when they will be returning to beaches, see here. When Surfing England Accredited Surf Schools restart, all their Coaches are Lifeguard qualified and will provide the best and most rewarding entry into the sport. Keep an eye on our website news section & social media channels for when Surf Schools begin to re-open and RNLI Lifeguards return to beaches.

A note for Accredited Surf Schools:

We are in touch with Sport England, the Outdoor Industry Association and other key stakeholders and will be examining with them, what the current announcement means for Surf Schools and Coaches along with the wider outdoors activity industry.

We believe that with good social distancing discipline many of our Surf Schools and Coaches could adapt their operating procedures to deliver surf lessons safely and with comparable risk of transmission to many of the other activities coming back online. However, until there is specific government approval to open, the position remains the same with surf schools staying closed. We will keep regular communications on progress direct with our membership and will be issuing guidance on getting prepared to coach/operate under social distancing shortly.

For full Government Advice see here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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