RNLI issues safety message to people visiting the coast after lockdown rules relaxed

Wells inshore lifeboat. Picture: John Mitchell

Wells inshore lifeboat. Picture: John Mitchell


A RNLI lifeboat station has issued a warning to people visiting the coast as numbers are set to rise after the coronavirus lockdown was relaxed.

Wells Lifeboat crews two the yacht back into Wells Harbour. Picture: Ray WestWells Lifeboat crews two the yacht back into Wells Harbour. Picture: Ray West

RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station said that a lack of awareness of risks can lead visitors to a situation where they need help from the emergency services.

It has warned this “increased activity will bring an increase in the possibility of something unexpectedly going wrong”.

Peter Rainsford, chairman of the station, has been with the RNLI for 27 years.

He said: “The RNLI crews always put their lives on the line when they go out to rescue people, we know about risk and mitigating risk.

Wells RNLI Lifeboat coxswain. Picture: CHRIS TAYLORWells RNLI Lifeboat coxswain. Picture: CHRIS TAYLOR

“Throughout this pandemic we have maintained safety cover around coast of Great Britain and Ireland. But when we calculate risk we are looking at risk to our crew as well as the outcome for the people we are trying to rescue.

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“The bottom line is if we have to pick people up who have been cut off by the tide in our inshore lifeboat then we cannot maintain a distance of two metres.

“We can’t guarantee our crews’ safety but we will do it for emergency situations but we want people to be aware of their own safety, but also that of the crew or other emergency services who will have to help them if they get it wrong.”

The RNLI is asking people be vigilant and aware, taking extra care to stay safe, not just for your own safety but also for the safety of our lifeboat crews. Be aware that the tide will be ‘making’ and coming in from lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday and there is a risk of being cut off by the tide if walking near the water’s edge.

Mr Rainsford added: “Think once, think twice, think three times.

“If you don’t have to take the risk, don’t take it. We are not trying to be gloomy but people can do both. Just be sure you are confident you are not putting someone else at risk.”

High water times for Wells are at 3.20pm on Saturday and 4.20pm on Sunday.

In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

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