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Appledore RNLI warns storm chasers of wave danger

PUBLISHED: 10:22 06 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:32 06 January 2014

Crowds gather to see the high tides in Westward Ho! Pic: Richard Murgatroyd.

Crowds gather to see the high tides in Westward Ho! Pic: Richard Murgatroyd.

Richard Murgatroyd

Appledore Lifeboat Station warning: ‘think about all those who turn out on an entirely voluntary basis to help save you’.

Van drivers are pictured risking their lives watching stormy seas behind the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe. Picture by Guy HarropVan drivers are pictured risking their lives watching stormy seas behind the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe. Picture by Guy Harrop

Appledore RNLI is warning people to stay away from rough seas after receiving several callouts over the Christmas period.

On New Year’s Eve the lifeboat was involved in the search for a woman who was washed out to see in Croyde and later found dead.

The volunteer crew also had three callouts in December to rescue surfers and windsurfers, but were stood down as they made their way safely back to shore.

Niki Tait, spokesman for Appledore Lifeboat Station, said: “We reiterate the coastguard, police and environment agency’s plea for people to stay away from the sea and flood water.

“Nature at the best of times is unpredictable, but at storm time the strength of the waves and winds are incredibly fierce and highly dangerous.

“What looks to be fun, is likely to end in tragedy.

“If unwilling to consider your own safety, please think about all those who turn out on an entirely voluntary basis to help save you, irrespective of the parties they may be at, the dinner they may be in the middle of eating, or whatever else they are doing.

“The minute the crew emergency bleeper goes off, they drop everything and run.”

With gale force winds and high tides forecast today, those gathering to watch the huge waves are being asked to stay safe.

Niki added: “Two boat crews, shore crew, launch authorities and others, may total twenty people giving up their time just because the sea looks exciting, and all without pay, just to help save your life.”

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