RNLI give advice on how to stay safe at the beach

RNLI in Wells is highlighting the importance of checking tide times ahead of visiting the Norfolk coast. 

RNLI in Wells is highlighting the importance of checking tide times ahead of visiting the Norfolk coast. - Credit: Justine Sykes

The RNLI is warning people not to get caught out by high tides while visiting Norfolk beaches.

As we head towards the better weather, the RNLI team at Wells have highlighted the issue around quickly turning tides as they want to make sure no one is in any danger.

Wells Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, is offering advice as walkers, swimmers and kayakers prepare to hit the beach, highlighting the importance of checking tide times to avoid issues.

Chris Hardy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Wells . Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Chris Hardy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Wells . Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“Our coastline has many channels in it which are not visible at high tide but can be walked across when the tide is out,” he said.

“When the tide starts to come in, they will fill up with water very quickly and this can catch many walkers out. If you are walking, always check tide times so you don’t get cut off. Be back on the main beach at least four hours before high tide.”

“We suggest avoiding swimming when the tide is going out; the currents can be extremely strong and even the strongest of swimmers can find themselves swept out to sea before realising.

“Our lifeguards will not be on the beach until the summer, so it is very important to always watch friends and family members."

Earlier this week, Wells' lifeboat rescued a couple and their dogs from high tide who were walking on Scolt Head Island.

The dog walkers got stuck on Scolt Head Island.

The dog walkers got stuck on Scolt Head Island. - Credit: RNLI

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They are also telling people to make sure they always have a form of communication, such as a mobile phone, so that you keep it close to you should you need it and make sure it is fully charged before leaving home.

The RNLI have offered advice around checking the tide as people prepare to visit Norfolk beaches.

The RNLI have offered advice around checking the tide as people prepare to visit Norfolk beaches. - Credit: Justine Sykes

They also suggest downloading the what3words app so that you can communicate vital location information to the Coastguard should you need to.

The RNLI also say always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

If you do find yourself in trouble the advice is to float to live:

Fight your instinct to thrash around

Lean back, extend your arms and legs

If you need to, gently move them around to help you float

Float until you can control your breathing

Only then call for help or swim to safety

If you find yourself, or someone else, cut off by the tide or in trouble on the water, do not hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.