Swanage beachgoers warned of “treacherous sea conditions” by RNLI

The RNLI has issued a safety warning along the South West coastline for this weekend, as a strong easterly wind is expected to bring large waves and unusually strong swells to normally sheltered areas like Swanage.

Although the town is forecast to have sunny weather over the coming days, the RNLI is asking anyone heading to the beach to take care and consider the risks before attempting swimming, kayaking, stand-up-paddle-boarding or even coastal walking.

This easterly wind is expected to pick up speed from Friday 23rd through to Saturday 24th April 2021. 

Sea temperature is still cold

People should beware of swells and currents in the water, and although the outdoor weather is relatively warm at the moment, the sea temperature is still cold at this time of year.

This warning comes just after the town’s temporary winter flood defences, that protect the seafront from hazardous sea conditions, were removed on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd April 2021.

Storm Alex floods road
Gerald Dimarco

RNLI “expecting large waves and strong currents”

Steve Instance, RNLI water safety lead for the South West said:

“Our main concern is those east facing beaches or coastal areas that are usually sheltered from the prevailing winds and offer usually calm and safe bathing conditions. 

“However, faced by strong easterly winds we’re expecting large waves and strong currents which will create dangerous conditions for anyone on or near the sea.

“We’d urge those considering going into the water, to take extra care or better still, wait a few days until the wind has died down or head to a lifeguarded beach where the lifeguards can offer advice.

“The strong easterly wind will also mean that people considering kayaking or stand up paddle boarding on any part of our coastline should take extra care as they can easily be carried out to sea.”

Large waves in Swanage
Library Image

In an emergency

Anyone who gets caught in a rip current should follow the following RNLI advice:

  • Swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore
  • Do not try to swim against the rip current or you’ll get exhausted
  • Always raise your hand and shout for help

In an emergency, dial 999.

Further information

To find out more about the work of the RNLI and their safety advice, visit the charity’s website.

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