Beach huts washed away by tide at Woolacombe beach

Video footage and pictures have emerged which show the moment tides wreaked havoc on a North Devon beach.

They come just as a rough night is forecast for Devon with the arrival of Storm Ellen

The footage shows beach huts at Woolacombe beach being washed to sea by the tides while onlookers watch on in disbelief.

The Met Office says that many areas are likely to experience thunder and lightning overnight tonight, with their forecasts also predicting wind gusts reaching speeds of over 50mph in places.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gunderson said: “Storm Ellen was a very lively storm for this time of year and although the main system has mostly dissipated, we’ll continue to see strong winds across western parts of the UK today spreading to eastern areas tomorrow, with several yellow wind warnings in place.”

Beach huts being washed out to sea at Woolacombe beach, North Devon
Beach huts being washed out to sea at Woolacombe beach, North Devon (Image: Joel Cooper)

With Storm Ellen also bringing volatile sea conditions to the South West, the RNLI and HM Coastguard are urging people to take extra care and avoid the waters due to the forecasts predicting dangerous sea conditions, large swells, strong winds, and spring tides.

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Steve Instance, RNLI water safety lead for the southwest said: “When we experience conditions such as this, especially during the summer when the region is busy with visitors, it is incredibly important that those heading to the coast keep themselves safe by choosing a lifeguarded beach and visiting within the patrol hours of 10 am-6 pm.

“With changeover days for holidaymakers on Fridays and Saturdays, those arriving at the area may not be up to date with local news and forecasts so could be caught unaware of the conditions.

“RNLI lifeguards are there to offer advice so if you are unsure about anything, make sure you ask a lifeguard. They will be able to provide information on tide times and guide you to the safest area to swim which will be between the red and yellow flags. Anyone surfing should know their limits and always stay within the black and white flagged area”.

Director of HM Coastguard, Claire Hughes, said: “We’ve seen so many times how easy it is to get caught out by the sea.

“Make sure you are always contactable at the coast by carrying a fully-charged mobile phone and if you get into trouble or see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“If you find yourself caught in a rip current, please adhere to the following safety advice: Swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore, do not try to swim against the rip current or you’ll get exhausted and always raise your hand and shout for help”.

Devon Live