With significant numbers of people expected to take to the water in England, HM Coastguard is asking everyone to take extra care in extraordinary times.
Boating, swimming and other sea-based activities are now allowed once again in England under the new Government guidelines, but, now more than ever people need to respect the coastline.
In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales the lockdown remains and people should continue to follow the guidance to stay home.
Swimming in the sea is now allowed as daily exercise in England along with paddle boarding, surfing, windsurfing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing. Sailing and owners of private boats may also go out onto the water.
But while people are allowed to go out on and in the water, they need to make sure they are safe and protected. Those with private boats and yachts should carry out all the usual safety checks and make sure they have a way to contact HM Coastguard if they get into difficulty, as should everyone visiting the coast and beaches.
In addition, the Government guidelines around social distancing should continue to be observed by everyone in the UK.
Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard said: ‘In England, now more than ever, people need to respect the sea and the coast. Whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability or experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does.’
‘The majority of beaches will not be lifeguarded. If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid. But coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.’
In England #StayAlert In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, nothing has changed. Give the coast a miss. #StayHomeSaveLives