Coastguards from the Isle of Wight and across Britain have been calling on people to take special care when on or in coastal waters as blustery weather typical of a UK autumn continues.
Coastguards are concerned that some people have been lured into a false sense of security by recent Indian summer conditions and are now still entering the water without paying enough attention to weather conditions and tide times.
Coastguards on the Isle of Wight, which lies just off the coast of southern Britain, made their call after rescuing two people on the same morning. Coastguards at Bembridge were called on after reports of a windsurfer who had run into difficulty off Yaverland, Sandown. The man was taken ashore by the independent lifeboat from Sandown and Shanklin in conditions that were wet and blustery.
Less than half-an-hour later, coastguards were once again contacted, this time to help with the rescue of a kitesurfer at Forelands in Bembridge. The surfer had already made it ashore, with the help of a skipper from a passing RIB, by the time the coastguards arrived at the scene.
Martin Groom, the station officer at Bembridge Coastguard, said that the previous period of prolonged nice weather could leave people feeling complacent, putting them at risk of being caught out by weather that is actually normal for this time of year.
The water is at its warmest in autumn, but Martin called on people to make sure that they are fully aware of the possibility of unsettled weather, and to ensure that they take adequate precautions to stay safe and always check the weather forecast carefully before setting out.
The warning came as a period of unsettled weather settled over the Isle of Wight and other areas, causing violent thunder storms and torrential rain in places.
People living on the island’s coast were urged to check tide times and collect sandbags amid warnings of high seas and strong winds.