Coastguards warn people not to drink alcohol and go to sea.

The coastguard rescue helicopter in action with a lifeboat in Lyme Bay. Picture: RNLI

The coastguard rescue helicopter in action with a lifeboat in Lyme Bay. Picture: RNLI - Credit: Archant

Mixing drinking alcohol with going to sea could prove a fatal cocktail, coastguards are warning - as thousands are expected to head for Devon’s beaches this weekend.

With pubs set to reopen this Saturday (July 4) they say many will be taking the opportunity to head to the local for their favourite tipple.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “If you are drinking at the coast, stay safe and remember that the sea and alcohol don’t mix.

“Alcohol is a contributory factor in a significant number of coastal drownings every year, and we advise against setting out to sea if you have been or are drinking alcohol.

“If you’ve been drinking, your judgement will be impaired, and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes which at sea could be life-threatening.

“Even if the weather is warm, the waters around the UK remain extremely cold throughout the year, with an average temperate of a chilly 11 degrees. If you fall into the water, you are likely to suffer from cold water shock.

“This, and the fact that people who have been drinking are more likely to take risks, is a potentially lethal combination.

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HM Coastguard’s Chief Coastguard Pete Mizen said: “Please don’t risk your own safety, no matter how tempting the water looks. Jumping or falling into water, especially after drinking, is extremely dangerous.

“If you are having a glass of something cold at the coast, please enjoy the sea view, but don’t be tempted into the water.

“If you see anyone in trouble at the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

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