Coastguard rescue teams around Great Britain and Northern Ireland were called to nearly 200 incidents over the weekend, to come to the aid of those who found themselves in difficulty in the sea or at the coast.
The 194 incidents included inflatables drifting offshore; crashed and broken down jet skis and pleasure boats; people injured while out walking or cycling along the coast; paddle boarders, kayakers, windsurfers and kite surfers who found themselves in difficulty; and people cut off by the tide or stuck in mud.
There were 84 callouts on Saturday (16 May) and a further 109 on Sunday (17 May), which proved to be the second busiest day of the year so far for HM Coastguard, as significant numbers of people took to the water and visited the coast.
In addition, 119 teams carried out proactive patrols of English beaches, cliffs and marinas to look out for anyone in trouble, offer safety advice where needed and ensure that people are staying safe in the water after the relaxing of some UK government guidelines in England.
‘The sea can still catch you out and can be unmerciful when it does’
The teams also assisted in providing mutual aid on 38 occasions in support of the other emergency services.
Boating, swimming and other sea-based activities are now allowed once again in England under UK government guidelines. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the lockdown remains and people should continue to follow the guidance to stay home.
HM Coastguard director Claire Hughes said: “In England, now more than ever, people need to respect the sea and the coast. While people are now allowed to go out on and in the water, they need to make sure they are safe and protected and have a way to contact HM Coastguard if they get into difficulty.
“Regardless of how well you know the coast and of your ability in your chosen sport, the sea can still catch you out and can be unmerciful when it does.
“In addition, the government guidelines around social distancing should continue to be observed by everyone in the UK.”