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Stay safe on Dover, Thanet and Folkestone coast: RNLI safety advice for Bank Holiday weekend

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The RNLI is issuing safety warnings as sunny weather is forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Guy Addington, RNLI water safety lead for the South East region says: “We urge people to think very carefully about beach safety before setting off on a coastal walk, especially during the big spring tides.

Walmer RNLI on exercise south of St Margaret's Bay in mid-April Picture: Walmer RNLI
Walmer RNLI on exercise south of St Margaret’s Bay in mid-April Picture: Walmer RNLI

“At Walmer, our last two rescues have been to people cut off by the tide at Ness Point near St Margaret’s Bay so particular care should be taken in this area.”

Mr Addington said the tide comes in and out twice every 24 hours, and while times can be predicted, they vary at each location and change each day. Tide times should be checked.

A beach or coastal area may appear safe for a walk but incoming tide can quickly leave you stranded.

On bigger tides, as expected in the coming days, places will be cut off more quickly than usual and places usually unaffected may also be cut off.

The RNLI urges anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following its other guidance along with the government’s advice on travel and social distancing:

Visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags – find your nearest at rnli.org/safety/beach-safety.

Collapsed chalk on the cliffs south of St Margaret's Bay observed by the RNLI in mid-April. Picture: Walmer RNLI
Collapsed chalk on the cliffs south of St Margaret’s Bay observed by the RNLI in mid-April. Picture: Walmer RNLI

Wherever you are, check the weather forecast and read local hazard signage to understand local risk and take a means of communication with you.

If you fall into the water unexpectedly, fight your instinct to thrash around. Lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The RNLI also says anyone using the coastline for exercise, to keep well away from cliff edges and bases.

Chalk cliffs are subject to erosion, can be unstable and can collapse without warning.

It happened south of St Margaret’s Bay just this month and at Samphire Hoe, Dover, in February,

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Deal Dover Folkestone Thanet Sam Lennon



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