The RNLI is urging people in South East Cornwall to be cautious when visiting the coast this autumn, as lifeguard conclude their patrols across many south west beaches on Sunday (September 24) for the 2023 season.

During the peak summer season, RNLI lifeguards operate on over 90 beaches across the south west region. As we move into the autumn months, the RNLI continue to use a staggered approach to withdraw the lifeguard service based on a variety of factors including visitor numbers, previous incident statistics and local hazards.

From this Sunday (October 1), the following beaches will be patrolled weekends only into October, and then daily from October 21 to 29 — Bantham, Tregonhawke, Praa Sands, Towan, Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan, Gwithian, Constantine, Harlyn, Polzeath, Widemouth, Croyde, Summerleaze and Le Braye (Jersey).

The following beaches will be patrolled every day until Sunday, October 29 - Fistral, Perranporth, Porthmeor and Sennen.

Woolacombe will be patrolled every day until October 1, and then on weekends only until October 21. It will then be patrolled daily for the duration of the half term week, ending on October 29.

Guy Botterill, RNLI lifeguard lead, said: ‘This time of year, the water is at its warmest and we tend to see an increase in swell, meaning bigger, more consistent waves, but this can also increase the frequency and power of rip currents. As our full season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and patrols end on many beaches, we urge people to make best use of the beaches which still have RNLI lifeguard patrols and choose to visit one of these.

“The lifeguards on duty can advise on local hazards and continually assess the conditions throughout the day positioning red and yellow flags in the safest area to swim and black and white flags in the safest area to surf.”