When In Doubt Don't Go Out!

Beach & River Safety

Here is a great beach safety resource from the RNLI which will give you general advice about Water Safety.  There are also some important local messages to remember when you are near the water at Freshwater Beach:

Slope of the Beach.

The beach slopes quite steeply and it can be quite difficult to get out of the water, particularly when there are breaking waves.  Take care that you do not become trapped in the surf line and remember, “when in doubt, don’t go out”.

Please do not Swim in the River.  The river can be deeper and faster flowing than it appears, is not monitored by lifeguards and is not drinking water. You may be at risk of drowning or serious injury.

Cliff Falls

Our coastline is safe to use and enjoy but for your own safety we would strongly advise you to keep away from the cliffs when using the beach and if walking the top of the cliffs keep to the coastal path away from the edge. Keep your dog on a lead when on the cliff path.

Water Based Activities   

Inflatables

Inflatables are not designed for use in open water. It is dangerous to launch an inflatable when the wind is blowing from the land to the sea (offshore wind) as inflatables can very quickly be blown out to sea. Do not use in big waves or heavy surf, ensure children are closely supervised and take with you a means of calling for help.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. 

How to call for Help at Sea

Stand Up Paddleboarding

If you intend to paddle board please ensure you wear a personal buoyancy aid, carry a means of calling for help and let someone know when you expect to return from your trip. 

Always use a paddle board leash to ensure your board stays with you should you fall off.

Do not paddleboard in the river or across the river mouth.  Unpredictable river and tidal streams make this area very dangerous.

Be extremely cautious when the wind is blowing from the land to the sea (offshore wind) as SUPs can be quickly blown out to sea. Also make allowance for the likely tidal stream you will encounter during your trip.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. 

How to call for Help at Sea

Kayaking

Kayaks can be launched anywhere along the main beach, but please keep clear of the river and river mouth. Please ensure you wear a personal buoyancy aid, carry a means of calling for help and let someone know when you expect to return from your Kayak trip.

Be extremely cautious when the wind is blowing from the land to the sea (offshore wind) as kayaks can be quickly blown out to sea. Also make allowance for the likely tidal streams you will encounter during your trip.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. 

How to call for Help at Sea

Swimming

Please note that Freshwater Beach does not have Lifeguard presence at any time throughout the year.

Always check the weather forecast and state of the tide before you go swimming, The slope of the beach varies at different states of the tide. The tide will also have an effect on the way the waves break on the beach. In some conditions the slope of the beach, the nature of the shore and the height of the waves make it very difficult to get out of the water.

In windier conditions, Wind, Kite and Foil surfers may launch from the main beach. Swimmers must watch out for these and should use tow floats and bright swim caps to aid their visibility.

Do not swim in the river or in the river mouth. Unpredictable river and tidal streams make this area very dangerous.

Enter the water slowly in order to acclimatise and reduce the risk of cold water shock. If you do get cold water shock float on your back always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out.

Water and currents can tire you quickly and make it harder to return to shore. Do not stay in too long, about 5-10 minutes is enough. Any more than this and your ability to control your arms and legs will begin to degrade and you may become hypothermic.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. 

How to call for Help at Sea

Power Boats and Personal Watercraft

Powerboats and Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis) are not permitted on Freshwater Beach.

Surfing

Do not try to surf in the river or in the river mouth. Unpredictable river and tidal streams make this area very dangerous.

Please check the weather and sea conditions and be aware of other water users.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

How to call for Help at Sea

Windsports

Windsurfers and kite foilers should be constantly aware of other water users and should keep well clear.

Please check the weather and sea conditions and be aware of other water users.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. 

How to call for Help at Sea