Coastal safety advice ahead of Easter Weekend

Long stretches of the East Riding’s 85-kilometre coastline may be affected by coastal erosion as a result of natural processes.

To ensure that residents and tourists are able to fully enjoy the spectacular East Riding coast this Easter, the council has issued a reminder about potential safety issues on beaches and cliff tops.

If you are heading out for a walk, stick to the coastal paths, avoid the mud and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. If you can, let someone know where you are heading and what time you expect to return, and always carry a mobile phone.

Dog Walking
Dogs love adventure and they can easily get into trouble at the coast. They can slip down cliffs and steep places while exploring and they can’t always make their way up again. If they do, don’t try to rescue them – they often come back safe and well on their own but you might not.
• Always keep your dog on a lead near cliffs.
• Don’t try to rescue a dog if it is being swept out to sea. You’re likely to get into difficulty yourself.
• If your dog gets into trouble, call 999 for the Coastguard.

When on the beach

  • Plan your route, including access back to the cliff top, before going onto the beach.
    Take note of the predicted tide times.
  • Do not walk at the foot of cliffs as they may be unstable. Never choose the base of the cliffs as a spot for sunbathing or picnicking.
  • Do not attempt to climb the cliffs.
  • Never touch or take away objects that have been revealed as the result of an erosion incident.
  • To report suspicious items or coastal problems/incidents, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard, giving the location of the issue.
  • Avoid any structures or debris, including the remnants of historic military infrastructure.
  • If you get into trouble, call 999 for the Coastguard.

When On the Cliff Top
At the top of a cliff, the views can be spectacular but also dangerous. Don’t become a victim of ‘selfie culture’ – many people get themselves into trouble when trying to take a dramatic photo of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge.

The cliffs along the Yorkshire coastline are continually eroding. It’s impossible to predict when the next bit might go – and it could be a few small rocks or several thousand tonnes.

Some basic tips to remember:
• stay well back from the edge
• keep an eye on children and dogs to make sure they do the same
• make sure you are properly equipped for walking along coastal paths
• wear sturdy shoes or boots
• obey any warning signs and don’t climb fences to get to the edge of the cliff
• don’t attempt to climb up or down cliffs unless you are properly equipped and trained to do so
• don’t attempt to climb cliffs as a short cut back to the top
• be responsible and don’t take unnecessary risks or let other people in your group do so.

Mud and Quicksand
Getting stuck in mud and quicksand is a favourite plotline in films and books, but it can really happen, especially in wide, flat estuaries and bays. Never try to cross a bay – the ground can look firm and safe, but be incredibly treacherous.

Walking over (and through) mud is difficult and tiring and there can be hidden channels of fast-flowing water. You can get trapped in the mud, which is frightening at the best of times but potentially fatal if the tide comes in. If you get stuck in mud or quicksand:
• try to spread your weight as evenly as possible across the surface
• avoid moving and stay as calm as you can
• discourage other people from attempting to rescue you, since without the proper equipment they could become stuck too
• if you have a mobile phone, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you don’t, shout for help.

Piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be if the weather is bad.
Wave dodging or playing chicken with waves is extremely dangerous. It can be slippery and because there is little to hold onto even a small wave can come out of nowhere and quickly wash you into the sea. Equally so, no photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for. The seas are unforgiving in bad weather.

The HM Coastguard urge people to think carefully about the risks they take and be extremely careful when near any body of water during inclement weather.

If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

HM Coastguard on patrol in Bridlington during the ‘Beast from the East’ storms of 2018 ©Michael Hopps

 

Cliff losses linked to coastal erosion can occur at any time of the year and visitors and residents are advised to take care on the beaches and cliff tops, by following these safety tips:

The East Riding of Yorkshire council is aware that the recent adverse weather conditions have resulted in changes in beach levels and the appearance of debris at several locations along the coast. This is a result of natural processes and it is expected that beach levels will recover in the near future, however, in the meantime, where necessary, the council will take all appropriate measures to ensure that its resort beaches are safe and clean.

The council would like to stress that large cliff falls are infrequent and that, by following the advice given above, visitors to the East Riding coast can enjoy a relaxing and safe experience.

For more information about staying safe at the coast while enjoying everything that it has to offer, call the foreshores office on South Promenade, in Bridlington, on (01262) 678255 or email them at foreshores@eastriding.gov.uk

Alternatively, visit the council’s website for information about seaside resorts, leisure activities etc… at www.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/tourism-and-attractions/coastal-attractions/seaside-resorts-and-promenades/

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