Safety on Beaches
Some important beach safety tips to remember to ensure visitors remain unharmed.
Beaches are a popular rural location for visitors to enjoy the freedom of the countryside. The majority of visits are incident free, but the guidance below is on offer so that visitors can make an informed judgement about their safety.
Safety notes for Dorset beaches
Wind and tidal effects can create hazardous sea conditions, including large waves breaking on shelving beaches and an undertow.
Always consider the conditions before swimming or approaching the waters edge
Incoming tides can trap the unwary - check the tide before walking on beach footpaths
Cliff rocks fall and mud flows can often occur on the coast. Do not enter problem areas and keep away from the base of cliffs and landslides
Sea walls and harbours are often not fenced - take care when standing on the edge
Always consult tide tables before exploring the Dorset coastline. You can obtain these from United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) (opens in a new window) or from your local Tourist Information Centres
Always pay attention to any warning signs
Some beaches in Dorset are the very best places to hunt for fossils - especially in the winter months, but be aware:
Cliff falls and mud flows are a hazard and it is essential that you stay on the beach and away from the cliffs and landslides
Going on a guided fossil collecting walk is the best and safest way to hunt for fossils. Such walks will have the latest safety advice and they run regularly
It is advisable that you go collecting on a falling tide only
A particular hazard is the beaches being cut off shortly after low tide
In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard