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Former Swansea forward Akinfenwa teams up with HM Coastguard to urge coastal safety

HM Coastguard launches a new film featuring Akinfenwa, to highlight the hidden dangers of the coast and urging the public to stay ‘Coast Clever’ ahead of half term.

Coastguard is called to around 36,000 incidents each year – with peak times happening in the summer, bank holidays and half term time. This figure has increased by 50% in 4 years, with 24,000 incidents reported in 2018.

The campaign comes on the back of a survey commissioned by HM Coastguard which shows that although 72% of people know that they should check tide times before they set out for a walk at the coast, only 33% claim that they do, highlighting the difference between knowing and doing.

The film features Adebayo ‘The Beast’ Akinfenwa, as he shows the viewers some of the most common pitfalls around the coast – the cliffs, the mud and the tides. Widely known for his physique, and being football’s strongest man, Akinfenwa highlights how even the strongest people can’t underestimate the coast.

In the film, HM Coastguard asks people to be prepared before going to the coast to ensure they can peacefully enjoy their time. When going to the coast everyone should:

  • Stay away from cliff edges and bases
  • Check tide times before setting out
  • Avoid mud
  • In case of emergency at the coast call 999 and ask for Coastguard

The survey also found that if respondents became stuck in mud at the coast, 28% of people would try to get someone else to pull them out whilst 24% would stay still to see if it lets you out and 13% would wriggle around to try and get out. HM Coastguard advises to try and spread your weight if you get stuck in the mud and call 999 for the Coastguard.

Commenting on the ‘Coast Clever’ campaign Claire Hughes, Director of His Majesty’s Coastguard said: “Everyone enjoys a bit of time at the coast by the seaside. This half term, we want to remind Brits to enjoy their time at the coast as safely as possible. While many of us know to take precautions when going to the coast, our recent survey shows this is not necessarily always practiced.

“Our campaign ‘Coast Clever’ is a great reminder for people to check tide times, stay away from cliff edges and avoid the mud. But if you are in an emergency, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Adebayo “The Beast” Akinfenwa, professional footballer and presenter, commented on his involvement: “I’m known as football’s strongest man but sometimes being the strongest isn’t enough. Out on the UK coast, it’s about being prepared, careful and diligent. We all love a bit of a chill time by the coast, but I want to encourage people to be safe out there. The coast can tackle even the strongest opponent – take it from ‘The Beast’.

“Taking the time to prepare goes a long way, so let’s not underestimate the coast. By being coast clever – we can all enjoy the coast for a nice long time.”

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