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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2005, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
Rules set surfers' path to safety
Surfers dropping in on each other's waves cause ripples
A list of official rules has been drawn up in an attempt to tackle surf rage on Cornwall's beaches.

The safety guidelines are the brainchild of students at Cornwall College who are fed up with the rise in dangerous manoeuvres.

Media, design and surf science students, backed by staff, pooled their skills to create the first ever surf etiquette leaflet in Britain.

The idea is being backed by the RNLI and the British Surfing Association.

It is an accident waiting to happen
Rory Mason
Cornwall College media lecturer Rory Mason, said: "Five years ago you could have been surfing on your own or with just a few friends.

"Now it is not uncommon to see 100-150 people in the water, of all ages and abilities, so it is an accident waiting to happen."

The leaflet is being welcomed by surf instructors like Lawrence Cooch.

"You can see some really bad accidents at Porthleven and they are generally due to other surfers being on the wave when somebody is 'dropping in'," he said.

Neil Holland, 29, who has been surfing for 15 years, said: "The person who is closest to the peak of the wave has right of way.

"You get people who will drop in and get in the way of someone who is already going, making them fall off and they could fall onto someone else and the board goes off in another direction.

"It's a chain of events that can so easily be avoided."

The first batch of 100,000 leaflets is being distributed to every member of the British Surfing Association and through the RNLI.

Anyone buying a new wetsuit or a surf board in Cornwall will be handed the words of advice before they get into the water.

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