SUN worshippers packed on to Weymouth beach to enjoy the hottest weekend of the year so far.
Temperatures soared to 25°C on Saturday, meaning Weymouth was hotter than Athens, Majorca and Rome. It was a stark contrast to the storms that battered the coastline during the winter months and traders say they couldn’t be happier to see sunshine again.
Julie Cleaver, president of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, said the good weather had sparked a mood of optimism among businesses.
She said: “Throughout the weekend, the beach has been buzzing, there have been people in the sea and it’s fantastic to see such a great start to the summer.
“When we get a good bank holiday weekend or a weekend of good weather like this one, it puts everybody in the town in a positive mood and creates optimism for businesses.”
But with the sunshine came a safety warning – don’t jump into Weymouth harbour.
Coastguard officers were called on Saturday afternoon after reports of a group of men ‘tombstoning’.
This high-risk activity involves jumping into the water from a height.
It is an offence to enter the water in the harbour.
The group of men, unaware they had committed an offence, were spoken to by officers.
Last year the Echo reported on a man who was seriously injured after losing his footing while climbing Weymouth town bridge to jump into the harbour. A coastguard spokesman said: “Portland Coastguard would like to remind the public that not only is it an offence to enter the water in Weymouth harbour under a byelaw dating back to 1887, but it is also very dangerous to jump into the unknown.
“What was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle due to tidal conditions some hours later, and not forgetting what other hazards and objects might be under the surface. “In the past six years there have been 16 deaths and 50 serious injuries around the UK due to tombstoning.”
The RNLI is urging beachgoers to drink plenty of water after a survey revealed 89 per cent of people aren’t consuming enough to maintain healthy hydration levels. And police and animal welfare charities urge dog owners not to leave their pets in cars during the summer. If temperatures hit 22°C outside a car, inside it can be up to 47°C within an hour.
Temperatures are set to dip again from today until at least Thursday. Weymouth weatherman Bob Poots said yesterday: “We’ve had seven days without rain, but we may see some tonight.
“There have been 157 hours of sunshine so far – this month averages seven hours a day, so we are well ahead at the moment. Next week looks like a mixture of sunshine and showers.”