RNLI warns of large surf forecast for Cornwall and Devon

The RNLI is urging people to stay safe along the north Cornwall and Devon coast over the coming days, as large surf is expected to hit the region. With no lifeguard service throughout the winter, people are reminded to be careful at the beach and to call 999 if they see someone in difficulty.

D-class lifeboat in large surf
RNLI/Nigel Millard

Waves are due to increase in height this afternoon (Tuesday 19 November) and increase further overnight, resulting in large swell through most of tomorrow.

Lifeguards are no longer on duty on the region’s beaches and the conditions are expected to be challenging for volunteers operating inshore lifeboats along the exposed coastline.

Dickon Berriman, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, says: ‘We recommend people do not go swimming, and experienced surfers should avoid exposed beaches and only consider surfing at sheltered spots with appropriate supervision. The swell will be incredibly powerful so anglers, coastal walkers and those taking photographs are reminded to keep a safe distance from the water.

‘If you see someone in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

If possible:

  • Maintain visual contact with the casualty(s).
  • Stay on the scene to advise rescuers as they arrive.
  • Never attempt a rescue by entering the water yourself.
  • Use public rescue equipment if it is available and it is safe to do so.

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