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Beach Safety in Blackpool

Take care on the beach at Blackpool, where fast incoming tides and dangerous sandbanks can be deadly, particularly around the piers

The sea is much like ‘the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead’ - 'when it's good it's very, very good, and when it's bad it's horrid’!

The sea is beautiful to look at, but it has a force and a might that will always win and you should never underestimate its power.

Every year thousands of people get into real, life-threatening difficulty all around the UK coastline. They may be washed out to sea, pulled under by a strong rip current, or simply get into the water when conditions are dangerous.

General beach safety advice

Blackpool Beach Patrol have kindly provided general beach safety advice which applies on any beach which you might visit.

Please take a minute to read this beach safety advice - especially if you aren't used to beaches and the sea. 

A minute spent making yourself familiar with this very unique environment could save a life. While it is very beautiful - at all times of the year - it can also be very dangerous if you take risks. PLEASE keep safe at all times. 

In 2016 the Beach Patrol at Blackpool attended 362 serious incidents involving over 4947 members of the Public. The Beach Patrol also successfully re-united 146 Lost Children lost on the beach.

Seaside Safety


Beach safety advice in Blackpool

Throughout the new Promenade new signage has placed at various points where you might access the beach.

Beach safety signage

Red symbols are Prohibition; Yellow symbols are Hazards & Mandatory are in blue.

Please read, understand and be fully conversant with them as they are there for your safety.

At other resorts a flag system may be in place and overseas a traffic light system may be in place so be aware when visiting different beach resorts.

Blackpool Beach Patrol works with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and HM Coastguard (HMCG) and has strong links with the RNLI. These are the organisations responsible for preventing loss of life, continuously improving maritime safety, and protecting the marine environment in the sea around the UK.

Blackpool Beach Patrol is actively involved in assisting the RNLI develop a Community Lifesaving Plan for Blackpool. The team is also working with RNLI to promote the RNLI’s national ‘Respect the Water’ campaign throughout the season to help make our beaches even safer.

Couple of things to watch out for


The huge flat sandy beaches of the Fylde Coast are particularly prone to the formation of sandbanks.

The sea carves channels in the sand, which shift and move on a daily basis with each tide, particularly so during periods of strong winds and rough seas.

When the tide comes back in, the water rushes through these lower lying channels and creates sandbank islands which easily cut unsuspecting people off and leave them in danger. Often, the bank can be too long to outrun, which makes for a wade through what can be deep and fast moving water.

On an incoming tide always watch what is happening behind you and be aware of your exit route back to the top reaches of beach.


Incoming tides are also dangerous under the piers and around their legs. The water carves channels out where it scours the beach at the bottom of each leg, and you can easily get into difficulty if you aren't aware of the tide.

Wave Dodging

The other thing that can be very dangerous is standing too close to the edge and dodging waves on the promenade.

When the tide is very high with the wind against it, it blows the spray and waves up above the sea defences. Along the promenade at Blackpool, at high tide you'll see barriers and chains with signs warning you to keep away from the high tides. They are there for a reason, so take notice of them and obey the instruction.

Along most of the new central Blackpool sea defences you’ll find Spanish Steps down to the beach. Stand and watch the tide as it rolls up the steps (on a calm day) and you can see the energy literally being dissipated by the steps – which is why they are so effective as a sea defence.

Elsewhere on the coast are areas of sea wall, where you’ll see the water creating impressive displays of spray at a stormy high tide.

The northern area of sea front, from North Pier through to Cleveleys, is where you will find the most impressive displays of over-topping and high waves. There are safe places along this stretch of coastline at the top of the cliffs where you get a good vantage point without the danger.

People have been pulled into the sea on many occasions, so keep well back and make sure you aren’t the next one, and always keep your dog on a lead and stay away from the edge.

Find out More

Beach safety information

high tide at north cliffHigh tide at north cliff

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