Stay safe down by the sea this summer

Busy Exmouth beach prior to the Covid-19 pandemic

Busy Exmouth beach prior to the Covid-19 pandemic - Credit: Archant

East Devon journalism student Alexandra Walters writes for this title

Staying safe on Devon’s beautiful beaches is essential all year round but as summer approaches they become busier than ever. 

Enjoying our wonderful coastline when the sun is out is even more tempting now that foreign trips have been postponed. However, it is important to remind ourselves how we can remain safe and well while at the beach. The RNLI, who are on many of Devon’s beaches, are there to keep us safe while we are enjoying the sun, sea and sand. Their familiar red and yellow flags show us where it is safe for us to swim in the sea, these prevent people from getting caught in unpredictable currents or dangerous tides that can drag away even the most competent swimmers out to sea. 

Lifeguards are there to help offer valuable advice and aid in case of emergencies. They also often stay in a lifeguard hut that is visible to everyone, so it is a great idea to inform children that this is a safe place to go in case they get lost on the often-crowded beach. Keeping an eye on your young children is of course necessary as they could get lost or fall under water while your back is turned. Inflatables are also a common item that can be brought to the beach, however it is important to be aware that even the slightest summer breeze can make you drift out to sea or near rocks. 

Always heed the lifeguard’s advice about where it is safer to use inflatables and bodyboards. Remember that it is not safe to swim where the black and white chequered flags are. These are for surfers, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. We all know that red means DANGER! If the red flag is flying, then don’t go into the water as the conditions are too dangerous. 

Before going to the beach, always remember to take sun protection and sun shades. Also remember to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours to stay safe. The sun will beat its hottest around 11am and 3 pm so stay safe! We all want to ensure our beach outings are safe and enjoyable ones. Memories that we can remember for all the right reasons.