The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has reinforced its message for people not to take unnecessary risks on the coast.

It saw a rise in incident numbers and call-outs at the weekend and responded to all of them, but reminds people that the more who go to the coast, the more likely it is that its teams will be called out.

“HM Coastguard remain able and prepared to help anyone who needs our assistance,” said James Instance, coastguard controller at the Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre.

“However, to best support our emergency services and particularly the health service we advise people to pay attention to their safety and to not take unnecessary risks.

“While we realise it is important that people exercise and will want to go to the coast to help their mental health, you need to take extra care when walking on beaches and along coastal paths. If you are going to use the water, do not take risks and go with a friend who can raise the alarm if you get into difficulty. And, as ever, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard should you get into trouble.”

The UK’s coastline offers fresh air, scenery and escapism amid the ongoing and developing outbreak, but it is essential to follow government guidance at all times and practise safe social distancing, and – where possible, stay safe at home.

As a frontline emergency service, it is our priority to keep you safe but that is much easier for us to do when people take less risks and enjoy themselves responsibly.

The message adds: "During these difficult moments the operational capability of HM Coastguard is continually being reviewed and assessed on a day-to-day, case-by-case basis – so, it is really essential that you are aware of our safety guidance."