Storm Arwen: RNLI urges public to stay away from coastal areas
The RNLI have urged people to stay away from the coast as Storm Arwen creates treacherous conditions and threats to life.
An amber warning for most of north and west Wales is in place from 00:00 GMT until 09:00 on Saturday and a yellow warning is then in place until 18:00.
The amber warning covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire, Powys, and Wrexham.
The warnings come in the wake of a dramatic sea rescue yesterday when the RNLI received a distress call from an ocean-going rowing boat which was hit by the storm and capsized northwest of New Quay.
Crew from Barmouth and New Quay along with the coastguard rescue helicopter went to the aid of four sailors who had been on a training exercise in the Irish Sea when the storm struck.
The RNLI said: “The ocean rowing boat, with four persons on board, was travelling from Ireland to Aberystwyth in a training exercise to prepare for a transatlantic crossing next year.”
One person was flown directly to hospital with head injuries and the other three were taken onboard a rescue vessel after a failed attempt to tow them inshore.
The Met Office has warned of damage to trees and buildings, with risk of “injuries and danger to life from flying debris”.
The RNLI said it was urging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers, as sea conditions are expected to be very dangerous.
Ross Macleod, RNLI Water Safety Manager, said: “Sadly, around 150 people accidentally lose their lives around UK and Irish waters each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.”
He said that people should call 999 and ask for the coastguard, if they see someone in danger in the water.
“If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others,” he said.
It is expected that the windy weather may close bridges and roads, the risk of injury is high, and in some areas, winds could exceed 70 mph.
National Rail said speed restrictions will affect services travelling between Carmarthen and Fishguard, Flint and Holyhead and on some sections of the South Wales Mainline on Saturday and said passengers should allow extra time for their journeys and check before they travel across the weekend.