Beaches supply welcome respite from worries

With the recent fine weather and the mercury approaching the blistering high 20s, it’s no surprise that many islanders have flocked to the beaches to enjoy the glorious sunshine.

Those who have seen the pictures in the national press of hordes of beachgoers, stretched out as far as the eye can see over the UK’s south-coast sands, will thank their lucky stars that we have no such overcrowding problems here.

During our own island-wide lockdown the beaches became a place of much needed escape during the permitted two hours of exercise and keeping to the two-metre distance from others was seldom a problem.

Now we are fully immersed in phase five, and as the island breathes itself back to life, our most popular beauty spots are filling up with families, friends and a plethora of physical activities. Take a stroll along the sands at Vazon on a fine day and you will see surfers, swimmers, stand-up paddle boarders, windsurfers, kite surfers and kayakers all enjoying the clear water and fine waves.

With so many people all clamouring to find the best ‘spot’ it is vital that we all observe the rules and keep to the spirit of #GuernseyTogether by showing courtesy and respect to our fellow beach users.

The launch of the new Guernsey Outdoor Charter Group is a welcome addition to promoting good practice and safety and will hopefully act as a catalyst to a better understanding of simple beach etiquette.

A quick read over the new notices which have appeared at Vazon’s beach access points will provide valuable information for surfers about the ‘drop in’ rule, and other such basic principles of the sport and the designated surfing/swimming areas are clearly marked for all to see.

Many islanders will want to enjoy the sand, sea and surf this summer after what has been such a testing time but to do it safely and amiably has to be of paramount importance.

With the ever-increasing popularity of water sports in the island it could also be time to reconsider the value of beach lifeguards being stationed at some of our busiest beaches.

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