Storm Gerrit: RNLI warns Sussex coastal residents and visitors to be 'aware of the dangers'
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The warning covers most of Sussex and runs from 3am to 6pm today (Wednesday, December 27). Further warnings are in place on Thursday – but Sussex is unaffected.
"As the UK and Ireland braces for Storm Gerrit, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is asking those visiting the coast to be aware of the dangers,” a spokesperson for the charity said.
“Yellow weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office with winds forecast to reach 70mph on exposed coastlines and heavy rain and snow expected on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Storm Gerrit poses a safety risk to those visiting the coast and the lifesaving charity is urging the public to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.”
The RNLI said the ‘most powerful winds’ are expected to hit western coasts of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland and ‘heavy rain and snowfall is also forecast’.
RNLI water safety partner, Gareth Morrison, said: “The forecasted strong winds along with heavy rain and snow are likely to cause dangerous conditions for those visiting the coast around the UK and Ireland.
“The RNLI advises staying a safe distance away from the water and cliff edges as the conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.
“If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if by the coast, or just 999 if inland. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – you may end up in difficulty too.”
The RNLI's safety advice is:
– Stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges;
– Check the weather forecast and tide times before you go;
– Take a phone with you;
– In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.