Staying safe at the beach

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(Following on from our Storm surges/ freak waves post)……

It’s thrilling to hit the beach when the sea is rough and stormy, to watch and feel the power of the breaking waves and see mother nature at her best. It’s something I’ve always loved to do, along with so many more of you I’m sure.  So, here are some tips to help you stay safe at the beach during winter storms:

-Checking the forecast and weather reports before heading out- most online weather reports are easy to understand, and you can always watch a quick video on the Met Office for an over all forecast. However to get some local information, then just head to Wind Guru and type in your beach/town. Wind Guru can tell you what the sea and weather conditions will be at that spot. When the wave period* in this country starts to go above 10 secs*, then that’s usually the powerful ground swell/waves and you might see surfers having a really good time!  We use Wind Guru –

-Keep your distance- if you do decide to go out, given what happened to my friend and the sad stories I have read, it’s not rare for these freak waves to occur at UK beaches. So, if it’s looking stormy and powerful, just stay well away from the shore line. Be vigilant , keep the kids close by and never turn your back on the sea.

-If you do see a extra big wave charging up the beach towards you and the kids, then grab and run! If it looks as though it’s going to reach you, then it probably is, so don’t hang about. Ankle deep water will have the power to take you down if you’re not prepared, a small child will not stand a chance. Wellies are a ‘go to’ for us at the beach in winter, but they’re the worst type of footwear if they get filled with water- they will anchor you down.

– If you do get into trouble, then shout for help, or raise one arm straight up in the air if you end up in the water. Look out for Surfers, they’re generally very experienced and would be far better at helping someone in the water than someone on the beach going in.

– Educate yourself – Knowledge is power. This could mean taking part in a water safety course, or learning to swim if you can’t, or wearing a buoyancy aid around water. I know a lot of adults who can’t swim but spend so much time at the beach. It’s never to late to learn. Rookie lifeguards is a great one for the kids to take their swimming to the next level and give you peace of mind.

If you want to enjoy the ocean under the supervision of our qualified and experienced instructors, then check out our surfing and coasteering sessions, wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aid will be provided.

Stay safe lovely people.

* Wave Period: The time it takes for two successive crests (one wavelength) to pass a specified point. The wave period is often referenced in seconds, e.g. one wave every 6 seconds.