Guardians of the coast in Exmouth have issued a red flag warning over swimmers and inflatables venturing into a danger area of beach branded ‘a recipe for disaster’.
National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) volunteers in the town are urging seafront visitors to ‘read the signs and take note of the hazards’.
Their message has been prompted by an increasing number of people taking to the sea in front of the charity’s lookout on Queen’s Drive.
The stretch of water is dangerous and RNLI red flags are flown on the beach to alert the public that swimming should not take place there.
A sign is also placed on the slipway to inform people before they go down onto the beach.
There is a deep-water channel very close to the beach which can at certain states of the tide the current can be extremely fast and strong.
This, combined with an offshore wind, could be a recipe for disaster for swimmers and especially those using inflatables, says NCI Exmouth.
Station manager Ivor Jones said on Sunday (July 18): “I have just come off an extremely busy shift in the lookout today with hundreds of boat movements in and out of the estuary, a rowing race was taking place in the vicinity and jet-skis and paddle boarders were vying for space in the water.
“I was alarmed and very concerned at the amount of people ignoring the red flags and both swimming and allowing young children to use inflatables in this area.
“In the interest of your safety and that of others we ask that you swim between the red and yellow flags where there are lifeguards patrolling.“
NCI Exmouth has already assisted the coastguard with 21 incidents so far this year.
A spokesperson added: “A sign is clearly displayed on the slipway here.
“The sign may be old but the message is bang up to date and very clear. This stretch of water is dangerous.”