THE RNLI has urged the public in the south west to stay safe in the south ahead of Storm Ciarán.

It is asking people to be aware of the dangers as the storm brings strong winds and heavy rain to the south west from this evening. 

A spokesman said: ‘So please stay in if you can and stay safe.’

The RNLI is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution to anyone who has to venture out anywhere near the coast, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for heavy rain and strong winds, with winds forecast to reach more than 80mph in coastal locations along the south coast of England, with some exposed areas seeing 90mph gusts. 

The weather warning is in force from 6pm on today and all day tomorrow, Thursday 2 November.

Steve Instance, Regional Water Safety Lead said:

‘Each year, around 150 people tragically lose their lives in UK and Irish waters, more than half of whom never planned on entering the water in the first place. The risk of this happening is obviously much higher during storm conditions.

‘Although it might appeal to go out and experience the extreme weather, due to the extremely high winds forecasted, we strongly advise against doing so. Stay a safe distance away from cliff edges, piers and waterfronts. 

‘In many places the surf this week and through the weekend will almost certainly be large and extremely dangerous. Please do not risk your life in order to take photos and keep well back from the water’s edge on beaches where storm surges can travel hundreds of meters in seconds. Stay dry this week and stay safe.

‘If you find yourself or see anyone else in danger along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard. Never put yourself at risk by trying to help someone in difficulty, staying safe and calling for help is your best option.’

RNLI advice is to stay well back from stormy seas and cliff edges, check tide times before you go, take a phone with you and in an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.