Beach Safety

September 04, 2015

Cove in North Devon

Photographer: Marlene Kenese
Summary Author: Marlene Kenese

Shown above is a charming little cove near Wolocombe Beach in North Devon, U.K. I took this shot while jogging the coastal path towards Combe Martin. Inviting spots such as this can be dangerous to beachgoers. Inside the cove the sea currents are relatively weak (2 to 3 knots or 4 to 6 kmh), but away from the coast the flow increases to 6 knots (11 kmh). Wading into the water along shore it's easy to be lulled into thinking that if the water appears flat it's safe to swim. However, if you're swimming from the cove into the more open water you would suddenly feel like you're swimming on a treadmill -- the water is moving faster than you can swim. Water that seems calm superficially may contain rip currents that claim the lives of too many vacationers -- an average of 65 per year in the U.K. Photo taken on August 9, 2015.