Live streaming of waves crashing over Porthcawl breakwater was viewed nearly 9,000 times yesterday (16 October). RNLI volunteers are confident giving the public the access to dramatic scenes acted as a successful deterrent at the height of Storm Ophelia.
The RNLI advises people to respect the water and not take any risks to experience extreme weather. Porthcawl’s breakwater has become a visual attraction during storms, with photographers and sightseers flocking to witness and record nature’s power.
The streaming is a function of Porthcawl RNLI’s website, (www.porthcawl-lifeboat.co.uk) which is linked to a webcam, will allow users to click onto ‘Live Streaming’ and view the breakwater and sea conditions live. Other key features include real time wind speed and direction, rainfall temperature and most useful to all sea and coastal visitors the tide times and tide height for that day.
The website and webcam all came about following a substantial donation from Porthcawl Christmas Morning Swim.
Phil Missen, MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Porthcawl says:
‘The intention of this webcam was to make our coastline safer for those who use the sea, beaches and coastal walks but also show some spectacular views, especially during stormy weather.
‘We have been amazed by the number of hits on our website yesterday. At one point, statistics show it was receiving 300 hits a minute. Storm Ophelia was the first real test for this modern day safety deterrent and I’m confident that giving people access to these dramatic scenes from their living rooms resulted in no safety incidents yesterday. As we brace ourselves for more gales over the weekend, I’d like to encourage people to watch the waves crashing safely and not put themselves in any danger.’
Matt Crofts, RNLI Lifesaving Manager says:
‘This severe weather could make our seas particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk.
‘Stormy conditions may be tempting to watch but big waves can easily knock you off your feet. The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell. Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk.
‘We understand why people want to experience extreme weather, but it’s not worth risking your life, so we strongly urge people to respect the water and watch from a safe distance. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Don’t enter the water yourself as you could also end up in serious danger.’
Video from live cam available for download: https://www.rnlivideolibrary.org.uk/play/nVsocm7O
For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829