Portishead RNLI issues stern warning

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 July 2019

Portishead Marina.

Portishead Marina.

Archant

Children have been warned of the dangers of jumping in the sea in Portishead, with fears swimmers could be dragged into 'serious difficulty'.

Portishead RNLI has urged people to avoid jumping in the water at the marina and off the pier, with swimmers likely to encounter difficulties in the hostile waters.

North Somerset's coastline boasts the second-highest tidal range in the world, with chilling water temperatures cold enough to induce shock.

People in the water could encounter 'real danger' due to 'extremely strong' currents which could carry swimmers into the path of oncoming ships.

The RNLI has called on youngsters to resist the urge to enter the water, with the start of the school summer holidays being met with scorching temperatures.

Its spokesman said: "Please can you warn your children, family members and friends of the dangers of jumping in to the marina and off of the pier in Portishead.

"Especially now as the schools have broken up for their summer holidays, we want to avoid any potential incidents."

While the water may look like it could offer relief from the baking hot sunshine, the RNLI has warned against taking a dip.

The spokesman added: "The water temperature is cold on average it is 12C this time of year, any temperature below 15C can trigger cold water shock.

"The water may look inviting particularly with the warm weather we are having, but you could soon be in serious difficulty.

"Not only can you not 
see what is beneath the surface of the water and what you could be jumping on to, but you cannot get out of the sea easily and the deep sinking mud will cause you another problem if you manage to get to the shore.

"We have the second highest tidal range in the world here in Portishead which can rise and fall during one tide cycle.

"That means our extremely strong and powerful tidal current can pull you very quickly in to the shipping channel and to real danger.

"Ships are so big they cannot see your small head whilst they are travelling at speed through the water."

For safety tips when encounter difficulties in the sea, log on to www.rnli.org

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