The coastguard has issued a strong warning to the public, urging them not to risk their lives for the sake of a selfie during stormy weather. This comes after a tourist in Whitby, North Yorkshire, was swept off her feet by a massive wave while capturing a photo on a stone pier during Storm Ciarán. A video circulating on social media showed the woman being knocked down by the powerful wave before scrambling to her feet just in time to avoid being swept into the sea.
Steve Hart, senior operations officer for HM Coastguard, emphasized the importance of heeding storm weather warnings and avoiding unnecessary travel. He stressed that no photo or selfie is worth risking one's life, as well as the lives of rescue volunteers who may be called upon to assist. Hart also urged people to stay away from the water's edge and any floodwater, reminding them that just 12 inches of water is enough to float a car.
Following several incidents involving the public, including children, the East Pier in Whitby was closed on Tuesday. Another video shared online by The Whitby Photographer showed multiple individuals, including young children, walking along the pier before being rescued by the coast guard from the treacherous waves. The photographer, in response to a comment suggesting the thrill of being close to the waves, highlighted the danger of such situations and mentioned other recent incidents where individuals were swept off piers.
In a separate incident, a video surfaced showing a man in swimming trunks enjoying heavy waves crashing on the coast of Jersey. This reckless behavior was met with criticism on social media, with the man being labeled an "idiot" for disregarding the warnings and putting himself in unnecessary danger.
As Storm Ciarán continues to bring bad weather, authorities are urging people to stay away from the water's edge. In South Tyneside, individuals are also being warned to avoid the edge of cliffs at Marsden Bay due to recent rock face collapses caused by heavy rain.
It is crucial for the public to remember that safety should always take precedence over capturing the perfect selfie or seeking thrill in dangerous conditions. The coastguard's message is clear: no photo is worth risking one's life for.