Coastguard’s stark warning for beach-goers to stay safe as deaths mount up

The Coastguard has issued a plea for people to take care at the coast following nine deaths in the past 10 days.

The warning comes as schools break up for summer and as the July heatwave continues to attract crowds to UK coastlines.

A spokeswoman for the Coastguard said they hoped the “stark warning” would prevent more tragedies this summer.

She said: “The warning comes as many are expected to travel to the coast for beach holidays and days out in the UK across the remaining summer months.

“In the past 10 days, HM Coastguard recorded that nine people have sadly died while visiting the beach or coast.

“Each death represents a widescale tragedy for the families and friends of those who have died. Others have faced life-changing injuries.”

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard, said: “We can’t emphasise this enough – the sea has no respect for whether you’re local or not and whether you’re experienced or not.

“Please always check weather conditions and tide times before going out. The Coastguard will always respond to 999 and do all we can to get people home and safe.

“But be careful. Think twice about what you’re doing at the coast that might put you, your family and friends and even those who come to rescue you in danger. Watch out for each other and those you love. Get home safe.

“We’ve seen too many tragedies already this summer and we’re sad for those whose families have been left heartbroken by the loss.”

The Coastguard is advising visitors to the beach to check tide times and to be aware of sea currents, hidden depths and rip currents.

The rescue service also recommends that inflatables should not be used and for people to ensure they have fully-charged phones with 999 being the emergency contact number for the Coastguard.

World Drowning Prevention Day comes on Sunday July 25 and has been organised by the United Nations to highlight the issue.

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