Warning issued over taking inflatables into the sea from Sunderland’s beaches and riverside

Sunderland City Council is urging people across Wearside to not put their lives in danger by taking inflatables into the sea in areas where there are no permanent lifeguard patrols.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 4:10 pm

Coastal safety organisations are particularly concerned about the use of Harbour Beach (between Roker and Old North Piers), which is not a designated bathing beach unlike Roker and Seaburn.

This means that there are no permanent lifeguard patrols on hand to assist the public should they get into trouble in the water.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

People are being warned not to put their lives in danger by taking inflatables out in the sea.

Nick Ayers, the RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, has warned that inflatables should be tethered to someone on land at all times if they are going to be used at the coast.

He said: "We always advise people to swim at a lifeguarded beach between the Red and Yellow flags. Never use inflatables when the orange windsock is flying, this signifies that the winds are too strong.

“If you do choose to use an inflatable at the coast, ensure that it is tethered to someone on land at all times. Inflatables can be picked up by the wind quickly."

Over the weekend, Sunderland City Council staff crewing the Port of Sunderland’s water patrol boat had to warn numerous people using inflatables off Harbour Beach.

Harbourmaster Captain Kevin Ullah, said: "Last weekend was particularly busy with a lot of people, including children, out in inflatable canoes, kayaks and on paddleboards, many of them not wearing suitable buoyancy aids or lifejackets.

"On the Saturday there was a particularly strong off-shore wind together with a dropping tide which had the effect of pushing people out to sea which could very easily have resulted in a tragedy.

"Inflatable paddle boards and kayaks have become really popular and people can now buy them quite cheaply and take them out to sea without having any idea of how to use them.

Read More

Read More
Angry mum set fire to home of her 'friends with benefits' as she thought he'd go...

"But what they don't realise is that if they get a puncture they can very easily go under. The very last thing we want to see is another tragedy off our coast.

"All water-based leisure activities should therefore take place from beaches where RNLI lifeguards are on duty."

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come.