RNLI call for coastal walkers to be vigilant of high spring tides this weekend

The RNLI are reminding those fortunate enough to live near the coast and planning on a coastal walk this weekend for essential exercise to be aware of the high spring tides that will reach a peak across Scotland.


Spring tides happen every lunar month throughout the year without regard to the season. During this time the earth, sun and moon are lined up in a row which results in a higher swell. This makes the high tides higher and the low tides lower than other days throughout the month.

The next high spring tides will start today (Friday 15 January) and continue throughout the weekend. This means the danger of being cut off by the fast-rising tide is higher than usual.

The current Scottish Government guidance allows for exercise that starts and finishes at the same placeproviding you remain within your local authority area. For those who are fortunate enough to live by the sea, a coastal walk may be the option you choose, but the RNLI are urging coastal walkers to consider the unusually large tides expected this weekend.

Michael Avril, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Scotland said:

‘Before heading out to the coast it’s always important to check tide times – even more so this weekend with the high spring tides. Spring tides will make the high tides higher and they will also come in quicker. The danger in this is that people can get cut off quicker without even realising until it’s too late.

‘That’s why we’re asking people to be extra vigilant this weekend when visiting the coast. Remember to check the tide times before you go but also keep an eye on your surroundings. If you've walked round to another cove at low tide, or walked around an outcrop of rocks, the water can soon block your way back as the tide turns. If the cove you're in doesn't have steps or access of its own, you could be in trouble. If you find yourself or spot others in trouble, call 999 and ask for the coastguard straight away. Stay calm and don’t try and wade through the water as this could be dangerous.’

For more information of how to stay safe at the coast, please visit the RNLI website: www.rnli.org.uk

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