EASING lockdown has seen a spike in lifeguard call-outs off Southend’s seafront.

RNLI bosses stated there has been ten incidents since lockdown began, but the majority have come since Prime Minister Boris Johnson loosened the guidelines.

Mark Cowie, chief executive of the RNLI, has called on the government to restrict access to the coast after two people died in separate incidents on the Cornish coastline on Monday.

The lifting of lockdown restrictions has resulted in seaside towns becoming increasingly busy, leading to Southend’s coastguard and RNLI being called out to several incidents.

Julie Rainey, RNLI’s south east regional media manager, has warned those going to the coastline should take more care to avoid putting themselves or others at risk.

“The decision to close beaches or not is not ours to take but comes down to the local council or landowner,” she said.

“However, Southend RNLI’s volunteer crew is on call - as they have been throughout the coronavirus situation - to rescue anyone who is in danger.

“Southend has had ten shouts since the beginning of lockdown but the operations manager did point out that the vast majority of those have taken place since the easing of the restrictions.

“We’d just ask the public that, where possible, they support our crews by not putting themselves in a situation where they need rescuing because they’ve been cut off by the tide or floated out too far from the shore.”

Southend’s coastguard rescue team, like many across the country, were called to incidents over the Bank Holiday weekend.

RNLI crews scrambled to rescue a teenager in the mud near the end of Southend Pier last week.

The Southend coastguard rescue team helped to rescue a six-year-old girl, 19-year-old female and sunbathers at Shoebury’s restricted beaches within the last seven days.

And the Southend coastguard rescue team has advised residents to be vigilant to avoid possible fatalities and serious injuries.

A statement read: “With clear blue skies and bright sunshine forecast again this weekend, we please ask you to stay vigilant and adhere to social distancing measures put in place as significant numbers of people look to take to the water and visit the coast.

“Regardless of how well you know or may think you know the coast, and of your confidence in your own ability within your chosen sport or activity, the sea can still catch you out and can be unmerciful when it does.

“The coronavirus still hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”