RNLI urges visitors to select beach with lifeguard patrols
The RNLI has urged people heading for the coast, amid forecasts of further sunshine and good surfing conditions, to choose beaches with lifeguard cover.
The charity's lifeguards are patrolling almost 50 beaches in the Westcountry – seven in Devon and 42 in Cornwall – until the end of September.
Cover is also being provided at 11 beaches in the two counties during the October half term school holiday.
Steve Instance, RNLI lifeguard inspector for the South West, said: "Our lifeguards are there to keep people safe, offering useful advice to help prevent accidents and a rapid reaction if something does go wrong.
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"The red and yellow flags indicate lifeguards on duty and highlight the safe bathing areas so people can rest assured they are being watched over while they enjoy late summer conditions.
"For those planning a half term break in October, it's worth remembering RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling 11 beaches in Cornwall and Devon on weekends throughout the month and during the school holiday week."
A list of beaches with lifeguard cover was issued by the RNLI following the tragedy at Northcott Mouth beach, near Bude, earlier this month.
A woman, who has not yet been named, died trying to rescue her two sons from a rip current. The boys, aged 11 and 13, escaped unharmed. Lifeguard cover on the beach had ceased at the beach 24 hours earlier.
Holidaymaker Simon Hill, from Wimborne in Dorset, who helped get one of the boys back to the shore before RNLI lifeguards from a neighbouring beach and the lifeboat from Bude arrived, described the incident as "complete hell".
"You don't give it a thought at the time, it's just human nature," the father-of-three has said. "It could have been my wife and children out there."
An inquest into the woman's death has been opened and adjourned although no details have been released.
The RNLI urged people to consult its website for further information or download its new Beach Finder "app" which provides real-time weather information, water quality and view lifeguard season dates, patrol times and safety warnings.
Lifeguard teams are on duty from 10am until 6pm.
Beaches patrolled until the end of September:
DEVON: Bantham, Sedgewell Cove, Challaborough, Croyde, Woolacombe, Westward Ho!, Sandymere
CORNWALL: Tregonhawke, Sharrow, Tregantle, Portreath, Poldhu Cove, Praa Sands, Godrevy, Gwithian, Upton Towans, Beach View, Mexico Towans, Hayle Towans, Porthminster, Porthmeor, Gwenver, Sennen, Porthcurnow, Gyllyngvase, Porthtowan, Chapel Porth, St Agnes, Perranporth, Perran Sands, Holywell Bay, Crantock, North Fistral, Towan, Great Western, Tolcarne, Porth, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthcothan, Treyarnon, Constantine, Booby's, Harlyn, Trevone, Polzeath, Trebarwith, Black Rock, Widemouth, Summerleaze, Crooklets, Sandymouth.
Beaches patrolled in October (weekends and October 29-November 2)
Praa Sands, Gwithian, Porthmeor, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Polzeath, Widemouth, Bantham, Croyde, Woolacombe, North Fistral (patrolled daily in October).