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The sea poses a very serious health and safety risk over the winter, Clearwater Solicitors' personal injury solicitors have warned, advising people to ensure they do not enter the sea when the weather is poor.
A person was swept out to sea while paddling in waters with his friends near Loe Bar on December 31st 2013, after a large wave pushed the victim off their feet, despite the fact that they were only in the water up to their knees.
The evening and night saw severe gale-force winds, strong rain and sea and other challenging weather conditions, which made the search team's intensive search difficult. The body of the 27-year-old man was found on Porthleven Sands beach the next morning.
Another serious incident occurred in the Devon and Cornwall region around the same time, after a woman at Croyde Bay was pulled out to sea. She was rescued and airlifted to hospital but died from her injuries. Accordingly, HM Coastguard and Devon and Cornwall Police have urged people to avoid the sea in the bad weather, echoing the message of personal injury solicitors.
Rough sea health and safety risk
There are people who enjoy going for a swim in all kinds of weather conditions. Some people actually take routine dips into the cold sea over the winter period. Many of these people underestimate the risks they face when doing so, and can suffer from personal injuries or lose their lives as a result of this practice.
People who like going for a walk on rocky coastal areas and beaches should avoid doing so during extreme weather conditions. Coastal surges and large waves can take people by surprise, and can strike with incredible force. Dogs should be kept on leads, and dog owners should not put their own welfare in peril in order to protect their dog.
Anyone who decides to go for a dip in the sea during extreme weather or who walks around the coastline when it is unsafe to do so should realise that it is not just their own health and safety that is being put at risk, but also the health and safety of the emergency services, who may have to attempt a hazardous rescue.
Drivers on coastal roads should also be aware that coastal surges and poor weather caused by storm systems will pose a danger to them, and that they ought to drive in a careful and considerate manner to avoid motor vehicle accidents.
Apart from actually within the water, the most dangerous coastal areas people can be in during stormy weather are those exposed areas, where large waves could breach the land and pull people into the sea.
Personal injury solicitors hope that the number of tragedies caused by winter storms in the UK does not increase further, and that people are considerate of the health and safety of themselves and other people during the hazardous winter.