Another death on England's coast after RNLI called for beaches to be shut

27 May 2020, 16:58

Another man has died after the RNLI called for beaches to be shut
Another man has died after the RNLI called for beaches to be shut. Picture: Getty
Ewan Somerville

By Ewan Somerville

The South West coast has seen its third death in two days after the RNLI called for people to be banned from beaches.

In the latest tragedy, the RNLI, coastguard, ambulances and police were scrambled to Teignmouth, Devon, after reports a jet skier had got into difficulty at 9.40pm on Tuesday.

The man, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, was pulled from the water by the RNLI lifeboat and rushed to Torbay Hospital after paramedics gave him CPR.

The 22-year-old has now died and his next of kin have been informed, police said.

It comes after a double bank holiday Monday tragedy that saw a 17-year-old girl and a man die on the same stretch of Cornwall coastline.

The RNLI, which provides lifeguards on 240 seafronts, wrote an open letter to Boris Johnson on Monday calling for him to “restrict access” to beaches and the sea.

The rescue charity has suspended all of its lifeguard patrols and said the Prime Minister gave them no notice he was allowing sunseekers to visit leisure spots - while following social distancing - a fortnight ago.

Its chief executive Mark Dowie said the loosened rules had put the RNLI in an “impossible situation” after thousands flocked to beaches in England over the sunny bank holiday weekend, with some claiming Dominic Cummings’ 260-mile trip to Durham justified their actions.

“Safety advice and warnings will only go so far when people are desperate to enjoy some freedom after weeks of lockdown,” Mr Dowie wrote to the PM.

“As a lifesaving charity, the RNLI cannot stop people going to beaches – but the government can – before more lives are lost around our coast this summer.

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“So, we’re asking for help to manage an impossible situation – we’re asking the public to heed our safety advice and we’re asking the government to restrict access to the coast until we have lifeguard patrols back on beaches.”

The RNLI is planning to restore lifeguard coverage at eight beaches in the South West from this weekend.

In the first tragedy on bank holiday Monday, police scrambled to reports of a capsized inflatable dinghy offshore near Porthilly Rock, Wadebridge, at 2.25pm.

Three people were taken to hospital and a 17-year-old girl was later pronounced dead.

About five minutes later, emergency crews rushed to Treyarnon Bay, Padstow, after a man was pulled from the water unresponsive by a member of the public.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and is yet to be identified.

After the Teignmouth incident, police are urging anyone who witnessed the tragedy to contact them via 101@dc.police.uk or call 101, quoting log 0877 26/05/20.

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