Safe and Sound when Water is Around
Posted: July 15th 2021
by Mandy Humphreys, Wells RNLI Community Water Safety Officer
Our beautiful coastline attracts many people at this time of year, and we want everyone to remain safe. Water safety messaging is important to everyone visiting our beaches, even if you do not go into the sea, and this is why:
• In 2020, the number of people rescued by the volunteer crew at Wells doubled when compared with 2019.
• In 2019, 1 in 3 people rescued were beachgoers cut off by the tide.
• In 2020, this rose to 2 in 3 people!
We have glorious beaches here that we want you to enjoy, so here are a few really easy tips to help keep you and your family safe:
1. Carry a means of calling for help on your person. A mobile phone in a waterproof pouch with a lanyard around your neck is ideal.
2. Know the high tide time. You can find out the tide times for the day in several places including notice boards at Wells Beach car park, the Harbour Office, the Coastwatch Station and at Wills of Wells coffee shop. You can also do a Google search to find websites that offer tide times, including Wells Harbour and the Met Office.
3. Be very ‘water aware’ four hours before high tide, as the creeks and low-lying sandy areas start to fill up from this point. Make sure you have easy access back to the dry sand or land and avoid marsh areas without local knowledge.
4. If you do get cut off by the tide, stay calm and dry. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Using the what3words app will help the emergency services to find you quickly without an address (it is a free download for your phone).
The most important message for people visiting the beaches is to be aware that the tide will come in and when it does, there are some places where you could find yourself in trouble. The simplest way to stay safe is to avoid those places when the tide is coming in.
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