People have been warned to stay safe on the beach this the Bank Holiday weekend as RNLI lifeguards warn of sheer sand cliffs caused by this winter's storms.

Warning signs are in place as some of these are 10 to 15 feet high and in danger of collapsing on anyone under them.

Of Cornwall’s 163 beaches, the 26 owned by Cornwall Council and an additional 31 others will have a lifeguard service provided by the RNLI over the summer, with Cornwall Council contributing £1.3million to the charity’s beach lifeguard service.

Season dates vary from beach to beach depending on the number of users, with 18 of the most popular beaches being patrolled over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Beach users can find details of the beaches patrolled and the dates when cover is provided by the RNLI via the Visit Cornwall website or by downloading the RNLI’s beachfinder App.

Steve Instance, RNLI Senior Lifeguard Manager, said: ““Last year in Cornwall RNLI lifeguards dealt with 8,067 incidents and assisted 8,988 people and saved 39 lives. With the largest number of RNLI lifeguarded beaches in one county it’s not surprising that Cornwall was the busiest area in the south west.

“With the RNLI operating a lifeguarding service on 57 of Cornwall’s beaches during the peak summer season, visitors can rest assured they are enjoying the best the county can offer safe in the knowledge that there is a lifeguard team watching over them.”

Cornwall Council contributes to the provision of lifeguard services on many of its beaches throughout the busy summer season, helping to meet the cost of lifeguard wages, but the charity relies on donations to fund the training and personal equipping of lifeguards – at a cost of over £1,000 each. The charity also provides lifesaving equipment such as inshore rescue boats, patrol vehicles and spinal boards.

These top tips from the RNLI should be followed by anyone planning a trip to the beach.

• swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags

• never use inflatables .

in strong winds or rough seas

• check tide times before you go

• if you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help

• if you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.