VISITORS to the coast have been urged to stay safe with gale force winds set to batter the coastline in the next two days.

Strong winds and sharp showers are likely to make conditions near the sea treacherous.

Dorset is subject to a yellow weather warning from tomorrow until at least Thursday with winds up to 70mph forecast.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, said: "During lockdown, RNLI lifeboats and stations remain operational and will launch around the clock where there is risk to life.

Weather warning issued as stormy weather heads for the coast

"We would encourage everyone to follow the latest government guidelines on what they are able to do and where they are able to go during lockdown, but for anyone visiting a coastal area please understand the risks to be as safe as possible and not put unnecessary strain on front line services.

"In a normal year around, 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water. So, whether you are walking, running or cycling at the coast, please be extra responsible and avoid taking unnecessary risk or entering the water."

Members of the public are asked to stay back from the sea and cliff edges, to check tide times before setting out and to take a phone so they can call 999 if they need to.