Ramsgate RNLI is urging people who are using beaches and the sea for exercise during the lockdown to make sure they are safety aware.
The warning has been issued following a number of call outs to people cut off by the tide.
Last month the Ramsgate crew attended Joss Bay where the Coastguard cliff team eventually winched the stranded walkers up the cliff watched over by the RNLI team.
On Christmas Day the crew were called to a paddleboarder in difficulty off Joss Bay. The inshore lifeboat was launched and stood by whilst the paddleboarder made his own way back to shore. This involved Margate mobile Coastguard as well as Ramsgate RNLI.
Last Sunday (January 3) a couple were reported to the Coastguard as being caught out by the tide on rocks between Stone Bay and Joss Bay. Ramsgate RNLI launched the Inshore Lifeboat and completed six passes along the coastline, even speaking to some paddleboarders to see if they had seen anything.
On January 4 coastguard search and rescue was called out when a kitesurfer was dragged out by the current at West Bay.
The coastguards also completed a shore search but it appeared the people managed to get back on their own as no trace was found of them.
A Ramsgate RNLI spokesperson said the although the incidents were not major “each time it’s unnecessary contact putting our own crew at risk.”
They added: “As we enter lockdown, our volunteers remain on-call ready to help others.
“However, we urge everyone to think carefully about using the sea for exercise or recreation in case you get into difficulty. When our volunteer crews are called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on them and other frontline emergency services, as well as potentially exposing them to COVID-19.
“Please take care and follow government instructions: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives”.
The RNLI says if you choose go to the coast, be coast safe:
Stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges
Take a fully-charged phone
Check the tide times
Dial 999 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard
Ramsgate RNLI is looking to take on new volunteer crew this year, although it will be a lengthy process due to Covid restrictions. If you are interested please contact Ramsgate Lifeboat Station directly on 01843 580580