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Guide to staying safe on the beach

If you are heading to Wyre’s stunning beaches, estuaries or dunes, please visit safely.

Wyre Council, HM Coastguard and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) urge anyone planning a trip to the beach, and particularly anyone thinking of going into the water, to follow our guidance on a safe visit to the seaside.

Beach, coast or sea: think 999 Coastguard.

Check tide times at BBC - North West Tide Tables

Please read this guidance before making your trip to our coastline. The information is here to keep you safe:

  • Wherever possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flag (if no flag is flying then no lifeguard is present)
  • Read and obey safety signs usually found at the entrance to the beach
  • Check the tide timetable for the local area prior to visiting
  • Always stay with your children, whether on the beach or in the sea
  • Do not trust others to look after your children
  • Do not swim alone
  • Do not swim in the dark
  • Keep within your depth and stay within your capabilities
  • Do not use dinghies and inflatables which are not made for the sea
  • Do not try to retrieve toys that have been blown out to sea
  • Do not swim if you have just eaten, after drinking alcohol or if you are feeling unwell
  • Do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers and breakwaters
  • Don’t get caught out by the tide. The tide comes in quickly, making it very easy to get cut off by the sea. Be aware of incoming tides and sandbanks which can cut you off. The risk is highest on spring tides which happen twice a month (visit Met Office - Tides for more details).  

Dangers to be aware of

All coastal areas have many hidden dangers. Around two thirds of people in the UK go to the seaside at least once a year. Last year alone, RNLI lifeguards responded to more than 9,500 incidents and helped more than 10,900 people on some of the UK’s busiest beaches. There are several dangers to be aware of. These include being washed out to sea, misjudged tidal and weather conditions and being pulled under by a strong current.

The following external websites give further details about these dangers:

Wyre’s coastline - which includes Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Knott End and Pilling - is affected by a large tidal range. This means that the water levels and depths on the beach change on a daily basis. The tide, wind and rainfall can have an impact on the local conditions and make changes to the beach levels as well as the wave height.

Every day the tide comes in and out, bringing up objects from the ocean floor and onto the beach.  Make sure you check the spot and surrounding area where you choose to sit on the beach as there could be hidden dangers.

Mud and quicksand

Avoid crossing bays and walking through mud where there can be hidden channels of fast-flowing water.

If you do get trapped:

  • Spread your weight evenly across the surface
  • Stop others from trying to help you - they might get stuck too
  • Shout for help
  • Ask others to dial 999 and ask for Coastguard

Bathing water quality

We have two designated bathing waters in Wyre: Fleetwood and Cleveleys. 

You can check the quality of bathing water by visiting the Swimfo website. 

Dog beach safety

Dogs can get into trouble whilst exploring, so always keep them on a lead at the coast. If they get stuck in mud or swept out to sea, don’t go after them. Most dogs make it back safely, but you might not.

Wyre has experienced incidents of palm oil washing up on our beaches, which can be fatal to dogs. If you spot palm oil, it is important that you do not remove it yourself and to report what you’ve seen to the council by calling 01253 89100. See palm oil on beaches for what to do if you come across palm oil.

What to do in an emergency

  • If you see anyone in danger or attempting to enter the water in poor sea conditions, immediately dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. Do not put yourself in danger.
  • If you are in difficulty in the sea, raise your hand and shout for help