Devon Beach Guide

Beach Safety Guide

All beaches can be dangerous and many beaches do not have warning signs or lifeguards.This does not mean that they are safe.
Safety information about individual beaches is provided on this website, but please note that this information is incomplete and is work in progress.
There are many potential dangers at a beach, including dangerous currents, getting cut off by tides, large breaking waves and crumbling cliffs.
In summer many of the more popular beaches have lifeguards and there is a flag system in use to indicate safe areas for water use.
Flag safe
Flag surfing
Flag unsafe
Devon Beach Guide Safety Tips
1. Check tide times before going to the beach. BBC Tide Times
2. On arriving at the beach, read and observe warning signs.
3. Supervise children at all times.
4. After low tide, keep an eye on incoming tide to ensure you dont get cut off.
5. If you are walking on the beach, keep well clear from the water if there are large breaking waves as you might get swept in.
6. If there are no lifeguards at the beach, only enter the water if you are an experienced swimmer or surfer.
7. On beaches with lifeguards, only swim, surf or use inflatables where directed by lifeguards or flags.
8. Do not use inflatables when windy or wind is blowing offshore (note that an "offshore wind" is a wind that blows from land out to sea). On some beaches there will be an orange windsock which indicates offshore winds.
9. Do not swim or surf alone.
10. Do not enter caves.
11. Do not dig deep holes in sand or dig tunnels in sand. They might collapse.
12. On the beach keep well clear from cliff base.
13. On cliff tops, keep well clear of cliff edge.
14. If the path to the beach looks dangerous, find another route or find another beach.
15. Beaches can also be dangerous for dogs. If there are large breaking waves or dangerous currents, do not allow them to enter the water.
16. There are occasional reports of substances such as palm oil being washed up on beaches. Some substances are poisonous to dogs.
How to deal with Rip Currents.
1. Stay calm.
2. If you can stand, wade dont try to swim.
3. Stay with your surfboard or inflatable and keep hold of it to help you float.
4. Raise your hand and shout for help.
5. Do not swim directly against the rip current or you will get exhausted.
6. Swim or paddle parallel to the shore until you are free of the rip current, then make for shore.
7. If you see anyone in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.