Sunderland Coastguard's warning to those planning on heading to seafront this weekend

Sunderland Coastguard is warning those planning on visiting the coast this weekend to take extra care as likes of surfing and sailing are allowed once again.

Saturday, 16th May 2020, 9:02 am
Updated Saturday, 16th May 2020, 9:02 am

Following the easing of the Government’s lockdown rules, many people are expected to make a trip to the seafront this weekend to enjoy sea-based activities that have been banned for several weeks.

Boating, swimming and surfing are now allowed once again in England under the new Government guidelines, along with paddle boarding, windsurfing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing.

Sailing and owners of private boats may also go out onto the water.

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Kite surfers take advantage of the new relaxed lockdown measures on Seaburn Beach.

But Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team have issued a stark warning to those planning on taking part in such activities as part of their daily exercise.

In a statement on its Facebook page Sunderland Coastguard said: “Significant numbers of you are expected to take to the coast this weekend in England, HM Coastguard is asking everyone to take extra care in extraordinary times.

“But while people are allowed to go out on and in the water, they need to make sure they are safe and protected.

“Those with private boats and yachts should carry out all the usual safety checks and make sure they have a way to contact HM Coastguard if they get into difficulty, as should everyone visiting the coast and beaches.

“In addition, the Government guidelines around social distancing should continue to be observed by everyone in the UK.”

The message comes as the HM Coastguard issues their own reminder to the public that the majority of beaches will not have lifeguards and that their choices may put themselves and frontline responders, at risk.

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard said: “The majority of beaches will not be lifeguarded.

“If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid.

“But coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules.

“Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk.

“Take extra care in these extraordinary times.

“In any coastal emergency dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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