For many, moving to study in Cornwall comes with a desire to get into the water, which, while fun, comes with risks. We’re spoiled for choice on water sports activities from surfing to cliff jumping. Truthfal spoke with James Instance, Controller for Falmouth Coastguard on how to best enjoy these pastimes while keeping yourself safe.
He said: “Students who may not come from areas where there are beaches, coastlines and surf can be more riskt. They’ll come down and think “I’m in Cornwall, I need to surf, I need to get into the water, I’m gonna make the most of this” and also are of an age where they’re prepared to take part in all manner of activities.
“We tend to get people who will go tombstoning, cliff jumping, swimming, surfing so we don’t lay down rules or regulations, it’s a matter of encouraging people to be safe for themselves and aware of what the risks are.”
“If you’re gonna go surfing, don’t go alone, make sure your kit is up to purpose, make sure your leash fits.”
“If you go swimming by the beach and it isn’t a life guarded beach make sure you’re going in numbers and somebody is ashore who could raise the alarm if something goes wrong”
In September, The Royal Life Saving Society relaunched its “Don’t Drink and Drown” campaign which aims to raise awareness for safe alcohol consumption around coastal areas. Their researched showed that around a quarter of all adult drowning deaths involve drinking.
When asked about risks facing those who find themselves drunk by the coast Instance said: “Your confidence can be raised but your aversion to risky activity is lowered, your inhibitions are lowered and also your abilities are significantly lowered… if you find yourself in the water or near the water, you are running the risk of getting yourself into a lot of trouble”
For the full interview with James Instance watch the video below: