Storm Brian: ‘dangerous sea conditions’ predicted for Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:18 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 20 October 2017

Exmouth sea front being battered by a storm in 2012

Exmouth sea front being battered by a storm in 2012

(c) copyright citizenside.com

Exmouth RNLI is warning people to be aware that the coastline will be ‘exceptionally treacherous’ on Saturday in particular as Storm Brian is predicted to batter the UK

Exmouth RNLI is urging people to stay safe near the coast this weekend – Storm Brian’s severe weather could make the sea ‘particularly dangerous and unpredictable’, with large waves and swells being a major risk.

The charity is advising people to stay away from the water during the storms, give waves a wide berth, and be aware that unexpected big waves can easily catch people out.

Steve Instance, community safety partner for the RNLI, said: “Storm Brian is the next of the storms to be heading our way and is set to bring dangerous sea conditions for the start of the half term break.

“Storm Brian has the potential to cause more damage along our coast than ex-hurricane Ophelia as it is also combined with large spring tides and a westerly wind direction.

“As a result we can expect very large surf conditions all along the north coast of Devon and Cornwall. This will lead to large tidal surges and dangerous conditions. “Our advice to people tempted to watch the stormy conditions unfold is to stay back, stay high and stay dry.”

He added: “People need to be aware that the coastline will be exceptionally treacherous on Saturday in particular.

“The large swell will mean that areas normally accessible at low tide may be cut off by storm surges.

“Sea walls and harbour areas may become inundated with surface flooding and large waves.”

Statistics released by the RNLI show how every year around 190 people lose their lives around the coast of Britain and Ireland.

More than half of those who die didn’t plan to enter the water - with slips, trips and falls being a major factor, the RNLI said.

With several flood alerts in place across the South West from the Environment Agency, the RNLI is asking people to keep safe and avoid the temptation of getting too close to the stormy conditions and putting lives at risk.

The RNLI has issued the following safety advice:

• If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats or that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

• The charity is advising that if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, to relax and float on your back to catch your breath and try to grab hold of something to keep you afloat. The initial shock of being in cold water can cause you to gasp and panic but these initial effects pass in less than a minute, so don’t try to swim straight away. Keep calm and catch your breath, then call for help, or swim for safety if you’re able to.

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