Britons urged not to risk their lives for 'storm selfies'

By Ben Hooper  |  Nov. 17, 2015 at 1:28 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The British government is urging residents seeking the perfect piece of personal photography to refrain from taking "storm selfies" in Storm Barney.

The Environment Agency and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents teamed up for an announcement urging residents "not to put themselves at risk by taking photographs of themselves along wave-battered promenades and breakwaters."

Storm Barney, Britain's second named storm of the season, brought strong winds Tuesday to England and Wales with some gusts recorded in excess of 70 mph. The Environment Agency said the storm is expected to bring "gale or severe gale force westerly winds" that "are expected to generate large waves around exposed coasts."

"The power of Mother Nature is a fascination to us all -- and taking storm selfies may seem exhilarating -- but over the last few years we've had an increasing number of people putting themselves and family members at severe risk along coastal paths and promenades," said Neil Davies, duty flood risk manager at the Environment Agency. "Floods destroy so take care and be prepared. Find out if you are at risk and sign-up for early flood warnings. Stay safe and act now to be better prepared for flood to reduce the impact it could have on your family, your home and your business."

The sentiment was echoed by David Walker, leisure safety manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents:

"We understand the temptation to view powerful tides and weather conditions, however, if you get caught up or swept out to sea in these events your life will be at risk very quickly and our rescue services will also be at great risk. Listen to the advice of the coastguard and the police about safe places to be. Floods are devastating so do not be afraid to seek medical help or support."

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