In Pictures: Thousands head to beaches as health boss warns of ‘ferocious heat’

·5-min read

Thousands flocked to beaches amid warnings high temperatures over the next few days could result in people dying.

Tracy Nicholls, chief executive at the College of Paramedics, said the “ferocious heat” predicted to hit the UK could have a detrimental effect on Britons.

People play in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex
People play in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex (Yui Mok/PA)

But Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said people should be resilient enough to “enjoy the sunshine”.

People on Margate beach in Kent
People on a crowded Margate beach in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A man takes a family selfie in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex
A man takes a family selfie in the water at Southend-on-Sea (Yui Mok/PA)

Scorching temperatures are predicted for Monday, with Peterborough expected to hit 37C and Milton Keynes, Norwich and Lincoln set to see 36C – while temperatures could rise to 40C in London on Tuesday.

A young boy takes part in ChessFest, the UK’s largest one-day chess event, at Trafalgar Square, central London
A young boy wearing his sun hat takes part in ChessFest, the UK’s largest one-day chess event, at Trafalgar Square in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, Dr Nikos Christidis, said the 40C prediction is a result of climate change.

The forecaster issued an amber warning for the majority of England on Sunday. The alert extends to southern Scotland and Wales from Monday until Tuesday.

The UK’s first red extreme heat warning has also been issued by the Met Office across a large part of England from London to Manchester and York on Monday and Tuesday.

People relax on the beach at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex
People relax on the beach at Southend-on-Sea (PA)
A young girl relaxes on a Flamingo rubber ring in the sea at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex
A beachgoer floats in a flamingo rubber ring in the sea at Southend-on-Sea (Yui Mok/PA)

The UK Health Security Agency has also issued a heat health warning at level four, which is described as a “national emergency”.

A woman wears an umbrella shield on her head during hot weather in Trafalgar Square in central London
A woman wears an umbrella shield on her head during hot weather in Trafalgar Square (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ms Nicholls told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal outside.

“This is serious heat that could actually, ultimately, end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious. We’re just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.”

People on a busy Perranporth beach
People arrive early at Perranporth beach (Ben Birchall/PA)

Her comments were made after Mr Raab said people should take precautions ahead of the record-breaking temperatures but added that they should be able to enjoy themselves.

People on the beach in Margate, Kent
People on the beach in Margate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
People in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex
People in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex (Yui Mok/PA)

“Obviously there is some common-sense practical advice we are talking about – stay hydrated, stay out of the sun at the hottest times, wear sun cream – those sorts of things,” he told Sophy Ridge On Sunday.

“We ought to enjoy the sunshine and actually we ought to be resilient enough through some of the pressures it will place.”

People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (Danny Lawson/PA)

Ministers held a virtual emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday after meteorologists warned the record high temperatures could put lives at risk.

Additional contingency support for ambulance services, such as more call handlers and extra working hours, have been put in place on Monday and Tuesday.

People apply suncream on a beach in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall
People apply suncream on a beach in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall (Ben Birchall/PA)

Transport services are expected to be disrupted on both days, with Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse urging people not to travel.

A child in the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield
A child in the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (Danny Lawson/PA)

Avanti West Coast, Transport for London and London North Eastern Railway are also urging passengers not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the NHS Confederation said hospitals are going to be “really, really pushed” over the next few days.

Lord Victor Adebowale said the NHS “will cope”, but added that “coping isn’t good enough”.

People on paddleboards in the sea in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall
People on paddleboards in the sea in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall (Ben Birchall/PA)

He told Times Radio: “My members are pretty stretched at the moment. Ambulances are operating at their peak, the waiting times for ambulances are now getting longer.

People relaxing on the beach at St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall
People relaxing on the beach at St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall (Ben Birchall/PA)

“The NHS will cope but coping isn’t good enough. We need to be actually operating in a way that allows people to get the treatment they need wherever needed, in good time. And that’s a struggle.”

People cooling down in the sea at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall
People cooling down in the sea at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall (Ben Birchall/PA)
People sheltering under umbrellas from the sun in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall
People sheltering under umbrellas from the sun in St Michael’s Bay in Cornwall (Ben Birchall/PA)

Greater Manchester Police implored people to avoid cooling off in reservoirs, rivers or ponds after a teenage boy died while swimming with friends in a canal.

The 16-year-old got into difficulties and was last seen struggling in the water at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester at around 6.15pm on Saturday.

A boy’s body was recovered overnight and officers believe it may be that of the missing teenager.

People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (Danny Lawson/PA)
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (Danny Lawson/PA)
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