Visitors urged to treat Gwynedd beaches with respect following major sea rescue operation in Aberdyfi
A major rescue operation after a group of children were swept out to sea has prompted Gwynedd Council to release fresh guidelines on beach safety.
As Coronavirus restrictions ease and visitor numbers continue to rise, the authority is urging those who plan to visit the county’s beaches to be safe and to treat the coastline with respect.
But the danger of the coastline was highlighted on Sunday when children from two families were swimming in the estuary at Aberdyfi when a rip current dragged them out to sea at the seaside resort.
Two air ambulances and the coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter were joined by lifeboat crews and paramedics as the group were rescued after the alarm was raised at 2:15pm – with some needing to be resuscitated.
In wake of the incident and Gwynedd’s stunningly beautiful – albeit unpredictable – environment, the Council is reminding people who are planning a trip to the beach to check the weather forecast, tides and to treat the sea with respect.
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Economy who leads on maritime matters, Councillor Gareth Thomas said: “Gwynedd’s coastline is extraordinary, but we all have a duty to treat it with respect.
“Whilst it may be calm near the shore, the conditions in the water can be very different. Please take notice of relevant warning signs and advice from our beach staff – they are there to assist and provide guidance.
“Recent events where some swimmers got into difficulties at Aberdyfi due to tidal conditions underlines the need to treat the beach and sea with respect.
“In certain locations, red flags are flying to advise people not to enter the water. These areas are considered to be dangerous due to localised conditions and tidal currents in particular.
“Our message is to enjoy the beach in safety and to treat Gwynedd’s coastline with respect. Make sure you park sensibly – there are a number of designated car-parks available.
“If car-parks are full, please consider alternative locations you can visit. Those who park irresponsibly blocking roads near a beach will make it difficult for emergency services vehicles should they need to access the area.”
Cllr Thomas concluded, “Gwynedd Council’s team of beach wardens are there to advise visitors to the seaside.
“But with almost 180 miles of coastline, our beach wardens can’t be everywhere at once. If you’re concerned about someone in danger at sea, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
“We want people to enjoy the beach and the sea safely, please dispose of your litter responsibly. Consider those around you and please don’t put yourself and others in danger.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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